Subject: Re: the value chain
From: Crispin Cowan <>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 05:10:27 +0000

Russell Nelson wrote:

> Tim O'Reilly writes:
>  > I agree very much with this thesis.  The OS is becoming a commodity.
>  > Frankly, applications are on their way to becoming a commodity.  What I
>  > would suggest is that a lot of people don't know what "services" means.
>  > Those who do are going to do very well.
> Yup.  von Mises points out in _Human Action_ that people only want
> goods for the services the goods can provide.  Figure out how to
> provide those services without the goods, and you might be able to cut
> your cost substantially.

Or possibly the other way around.  Most consumer goods of the 20th century are
devices designed to replace services at lower cost, e.g. vacuum cleaners,
washing machines, electric ovens, etc.

In our advanced state of technical development, people are by far the most
expensive part of almost any delivery system.  "services" is all well and good,
but you need to reduce the people cost in delivering services.  e-trade is a
prime example:  deliver the service of stock brokering, without the human

Crispin Cowan, CTO, WireX Communications, Inc.
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