Subject: Re: Returns to service professionals
From: kragen@pobox.com (Kragen Sitaker)
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 1999 15:19:03 -0400 (EDT)

Frank Hecker writes:
> A major reason doctors and lawyers make those higher returns is
> because those professions have artificially high barriers to entry,
> including state-mandated licensing.

I suspect this is true, but I know that doctors and lawyers both made
quite a bit of money before any state-mandated licensing, simply
because the barriers to entry in both professions are naturally rather
high.

I suspect the same is true of writing software.  While anyone can
create a Visual Basic form, writing a working OS or word processor or
antilock braking system is very difficult, as is supporting customers
using any of these things.

Cyclic's 1998 yearly report
(http://www.cyclic.com/cyclic-pages/rep1998.html) anecdotally suggests
that the analogy to doctors and lawyers is not so bad; they took in
$139,713.60 and spent $63,006.46, with something like a 50% annual
growth rate.  If Jim had been more interested in marketing and sales,
he could probably have doubled the income for the same amount of value
delivered to customers, i.e. Cyclic's services were worth much more
than $140K to its customers.

-- 
<kragen@pobox.com>       Kragen Sitaker     <http://www.pobox.com/~kragen/>
According to my medieval text in the seventh century a finalizer raised a
dead object named Gorth who infected every computer in Cappidocia ending
Roman rule in the region.  -- Charles Fiterman on gclist@iecc.com