Subject: Re: Opportunity lost? Challenge declined!?
From: Steve Mallett <>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 16:11:54 -0300

On Saturday 12 May 2001 16:04, Steve Mallett wrote:
> > Personally, I think it's an extremely interesting challenge, and one
> > with a lot of social benefit (which is my main goal) to get Microsoft to
> > open up and realize the benefits of cooperation as well as the benefits
> > of competition, and to find a better balance between the two.  Just as I
> > urged Allchin and Mundie and other MS folks to talk to open source
> > folks, I urge you guys to be more open to talking to Microsoft.
> >
> > Cass Sunstein's book talks about the dynamics of groups
> > that talk only to people who already agree with them:  they tend to
> > become more extreme, reinforcing their existing beliefs, while groups
> > that regularly engage in dialogue with people who have opposite views
> > tend to moderate towards the middle.
> >
> > Now, I have nothing against this group wanting to sit in a corner and be
> > extremists, if that's what you want.  But since this is the premier
> > gathering and conversation place for people who really care about the
> > intersection of free software or open source and the business world, I'd
> > much rather see us put our collective weight into engaging with "the
> > enemy".  Yes, it might cause those of us in dialogue to become more
> > moderate, but my firm belief is that it will help Microsoft to become
> > more moderate as well.
> I wonder if the best way to get microsoft and others to go open is to do a
> better job of creating demand for it.  If customers demand it those
> interested in the "money success" will find a way to make money with it.
> >From a boxed product view anyway.
> If new companies adopt open software, to sell or use, and do well with it
> others will follow the example.  "Engaging the enemy" as Tim puts it, in
> this case a commercial vendor, is best done by beating them at their
> game..winning customers.

As a post script to this I'd add that a conversational engagement of the 
enemy can still occur when they are ready to listen..."Please tell me what 
these customers are talking about?"

The other rewards (non-monetary) that developers seek can be sell served by 
this list with friendly advice.

Steve Mallett |
aka <spaceman> #osd,

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