Subject: Re: GPL and trademarks and brandnames...
From: Geoffrey Crawshaw <>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 10:13:34 -0500 (EST)

> > _Information Rules_ by Shapiro and Varian
> Thanks!  I find out about the best books on this list.
> > In essence, different groups of users find value in different
> > things, and the wise vendor will offer different versions of
> > products to appeal to all the different groups.
> I'm having a moral problem again with charging all the traffic will
> bear for a product that is only valued so high because the customers
> don't know any better.  Or because I've deliberately mislead them.
> (Buy Brian's unnecessary Linux program: twice the hype of the
> competition and ten times the price.)
> Isn't the amount of lying to be tolerated in commerce both a moral and
> economic grey area?  How do I compete with Barnum without becoming him?
> League for Programming Freedom (LPF)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Brian Bartholomew - - - Working Version, Cambridge, MA

It isn't lying, its more of a time/price curve. Typically the more time you are
willing to put into a purchase the better the price you can find. Think of buying
a house, car etc..

A vendor gets to pick where on the time/price curve they want to be. If the vendor 
invests in marketing, placement and brand building the customer will find them early
in the purchasing process. The "early found" vendor will typically charge a premium
to cover the marketing etc. investment. If the consumer is happy with the time/price
combination they will purchase if not they have the option to invest more time to
move down the price curve.

As a software vendor in particular you get to choose where on the time/price curve 
you want to be positioned. If you don't want be a "Barnum" type of company you typically
have to offer a better value proposition for the consumer, you also get to save
all the money you would have spent on marketing :-).

Geoff Crawshaw
OpenAir Software Inc.