Subject: Re: contra-ESR and the principle of infinite exploitation
From: Adam Di Carlo <>
Date: 18 Dec 1998 20:18:59 -0500

"Russell" == Russell Nelson <> writes:
> Adam Di Carlo writes:
>> I find it hard to conceive of a free software business with
>> non-linear profit potentials (ruling out most of the models ESR
>> presents) assuming the embrace the ideal that software ought to be
>> community property.  This poses a fundamental problem for venture
>> capitalists looking for fsb investment opportunities.

> Venture capitalists can accept linear profit potentials, as long as
> they're a non-zero (non-one, non-two, and maybe even non-three :)
> multiple of the capital invested.

> They may have to since the market may no longer support proprietary
> software.  Or else it may be that programmers will simply invent
> fewer wheels, create more value, and make out that way?

We can hope.  My main point is that I think ESR's analysis is weak on
economic grounds, and my hope is to temper some of the breathless
enthusiasm I've seen ESR's work engender in the 'suit' community.  To
that end, my argument is that ISV shops which free parts of their code
(i.e., Troll) will start to see diminishing returns; most hackers
would prefer to (a) hack on code that came from the community, and (b)
time will diminish as more products are available to hack on (survival
of the fittest).

So much really comes down the personalities who are trying to
coordinate the hacking effort, too.

.....Adam Di<URL:>