Subject: Re: futures markets
From: "Forrest J. Cavalier III" <>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 12:52:46 -0400 (EDT)

Tom Lord wrote, in part:

> But my original post here wasn't aimed at giving FSBers a chance to
> tut-tut about whether or not I like to finish things -- it was to
> raise the more interesting topic of "markets for abstractions" -- can
> one create market economies for abstractions that are (almost?) too
> complicated or too much determined by public mood to make the subject
> of a contract.  Can buy and sell "ownership" or "open source
> projects", for example?  You know -- so we can have our software Enron.

OK, let's tut-tut about developers who think ideas are something that
can be sold, despite no evidence to support that view.

1. Customers will buy the rights to use a patented/copyrighted/
   secret/somehow-restricted-by-statute-or-agreement idea.

2. Customers will buy your time as a consultant or teacher to have
   access to ideas.

3. Customers will buy a copy of an idea (book, software, or other
   documentation) to teach themselves or otherwise be able to use
   that idea.

Did I miss anything?  Note that in no case, did a customer pay
for the idea itself, even if they thought of it as doing that, or
said that an idea is "valuable."

A futures market is based on expected future value of something
definite, not a nebulous "many will be better off."  "Futures"
can be sold for commodities (which arch is not), or as/for shares
in companies (a.k.a. revenue streams.)

So for arch, 
    Which of the three above revenue streams will appear?

    What will be the definite entity with the revenue stream?

    How valuable do you think it will be?

You already gave away the idea, as a way to get necessary
attention.  You admit there is no secret left.

You don't seem like the type who will get a patent.

That leaves consulting revenue, which may be a good
revenue stream.  But there is no definite entity that
someone could invest in.

So, no futures for arch.  (Which isn't the same as
no future for arch.)

I imagine that you already have been over all of this
in your head (which is why you have previously
brought up taxes as a way to pay for these "rising
tide" kind of improvements.)

  Integrating software with different licenses?  Then
  you need LIDESC: