Subject: Back to business [was: the Be thread]
From: DJ Delorie <dj@delorie.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1999 23:03:32 -0500


> Puhleeze, DJ, take it to gnu.misc.discuss or some other low
> signal-to-noise forum.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.  I apologize for stirring the mud, but I was
just answering a question.  I was trying to point out, also, that the
two can be used to model different steps in the business model -
development and distribution.  I hope that someday someone will post
something to fsb about MAKING MONEY and we'll need to stitch all these
parts together into coherent business strategies.

As for signal-to-noise, is there a charter for fsb somewhere?  If so,
should we start actively dissuading off-focus discussions?

> What I'm guessing the "free" in free software business means is simply
> whether other people are free to compete with you using the same
> software.

The part I always focus on is that you can't consider the software to
be "intellectual property" and you have to build your business model
around something else besides just controlling the software.  Sorta
the same thing.  I guess fsb's are less concerned with the "freeness"
itself and more with the side effects - what it means to customers,
how to take advantage it, etc.  In that light, the type of "free" is
less relevent, providing the license fits your business model.

Proprietary software makes money for its owner without the owner
needing to continually replenish its value (except for upgrades, but
you know what I mean).  Free software often requires that one must
continually refresh the value-add they provide, as the available
value-adds are often service oriented (or easily diluted).  Is there
any way to create a value-add for free software that's scalable and
self-sustaining?  Otherwise, growth is linear vs the resources
available.

> It's a freedom that neither FSF nor the OSI seems to put any value
> on.

Value judgements.  Everyone has one, and everyone wants to tell you
about theirs.  I'm more than willing to focus on learning to make lots
of money, but we've constrained ourselves to a realm where value
judgements are strong.