Subject: Re: CISTO business idea (was Re: Opportunity lost? ...)
From: Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com>
Date: 11 May 2001 23:07:06 -0700

Norbert Bollow <nb@thinkcoach.com> writes:

> Ok, I'll try to explain the Business Idea for the FreeDevelopers
> Community Internet Services and Tools Organisation (Cisto) in
> more detail.  (I hope that after a couple of revisions, based on
> comments from the community, this text will evolve into a formal
> "business idea" document).

Thanks.  I misunderstood what you were saying before.

> Cisto specializes on providing hosting, technical support and
> consulting services for a small number of Free Software programs
> that are useful for building Internet Communities, namely:
> 
> a) GNU Mailman  see http://www.list.org
> b) Phorum       see http://www.phorum.org
> b) TBBBS        see http://www.tbbbs.org

In other words, a little like Collabnet's SourceCast hosted delivery,
although that is more aimed at hosting development projects:
    http://www.collab.net/products/sourcecast/hosted_delivery.html
Also maybe a little like LoudCloud, though they don't seem to have the
community building stuff (I think they used to talk more about stuff
like this, although I may misremember):
    http://www.loudcloud.com/

How would you compare this to Yahoo Clubs (http://clubs.yahoo.com/) or
Yahoo Groups (http://groups.yahoo.com/)?  The general idea seems quite
similar to me, but I am not very familiar with the Yahoo offerings.

> - high-reliability hosting

I'll note that hosting can lead to a cash flow problem, since you have
to pay for the equipment and network connections up front while your
customers pay you some sort of monthly fee.  Well, you can probably
lease the equipment, but high speed network connections often have a
significant up-front fee.  Or you can be a value-add to somebody
else's hosting services.

Ian