Subject: success metrics -- user adoption rates
From: Paul Rohr <>
Date: Mon, 07 Jun 1999 23:29:36 -0700

One of the questions being debated recently on the list has been:

  How do FSBs measure success? 

As a company still deep in the process of developing and marketing our first 
desktop application, we at AbiSource currently tend to be interested in 
fairly concrete, immediate metrics, such as:

  What's a "good" user adoption rate for an Open Source project?

Our latest approach to answering this question has been decidedly 
experimental.  We think we have a pretty good idea of our status in the 
community, and we've been eagerly watching the download numbers for our 
first binary release to see how we're measuring up.  More to the point, 
we're asking our nascent community of developers and users to tell us how 
well *they* think we're doing:

Yes, it's a cheesy contest -- guess how many downloads we've had and win a 
free t-shirt -- but we're developers at heart and none of us have ever 
learned how to do dignified market research without hiring suits.  :-)

Since the initial guesses have ranged from 415 to 200,000, we already know 
that this hasn't been an easy question to answer.  

If there's sufficient interest among list members in this metric, I'd be 
happy to summarize the results at the end of the contest.  


PS:  Anyone who thinks their fsb expertise gives them an unfair advantage 
is more than welcome to send their guesses to me privately, rather than 
publically participate in the contest.  ;-)