Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: "Ben Tilly" <btilly@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 4 Sep 2008 10:34:59 -0700

On Thu, Sep 4, 2008 at 9:54 AM,  <orthox@prototribe.net> wrote:
[...]
> For Mr. Lords arguments to have merit, ultimately software and software
> development cannot be considered substantial revenue source. I view
> "Open Source" (term used loosely) as the lowest common denominator. If a
> company can't do better they probably shouldn't be in business. This
> notion has already hurt companies and reduced profits in private
> software sector. Where does this take us in the long run? A complete
> software stack that individuals can use to accommodate nearly 100% of
> their computing needs available for free would eliminate the need or
> desire to purchase software at nearly any cost (piracy may also increase
> as well. if nearly everything else is free whats an app or two).
[...]

Before that long run can happen we need to run out of finding new
kinds of software that people want.  In the last 50 years that has
never happened, and shows no prospects of happening in the foreseeable
future.  And even if it did happen, there will not (at least until we
have true AI) be any shortage of companies who need software modified
for their particular needs.

Remember, something like 90% of software development is done for
internal use.  Several years ago Karsten Self posted to this list an
analysis of the 10 largest software companies in the USA.  He found
that only Microsoft got the bulk of its revenue from selling and
licensing software.  The others all made the bulk of their money in
consulting.  So eliminating revenue from selling and licensing
software will not mean that there is no money to be made from
software.

Cheers,
Ben