Subject: Re: FW: Why would I pay for Ximian software?
From: Harald Koch <chk@pobox.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Jan 2002 13:18:38 -0500

David Fetter answered most of Joshua's comments the same way I would, so
I'll just add a couple of things.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, "Joshua C. Lerner"
had to walk into mine and say:

> How do you
> account for which companies thrive and which fail?

I don't account for success or failure of businesses anymore. It's
entirely Chaotic and so depends quite a bit on random chance. Other
significant factors are the personalities, experience level, and goals
of the principals.

> Or are you suggesting that investors are wrong to punish a company's
> stock when the company fails to meet earning's expectations?

I think modern earnings expectations are often entirely unrealistic;
they're set as optimistic goals rather than realistic targets. They
don't take into account global economic trends, instead expecting a
corporations performance to be consistent even in the face of external
changes.

I also think that (these days) "most investors" are hopelessly naive,
and panic when a company fails to meet expectations (even slightly).

> > Individuals rarely even known what their own best
> > self-interest is.
> 
> That's a rather dangerous opinion.

Apparently you'd be surprised how many people hold it.

> Do you think you typically try to act in your own best self-interest? 

Do I try? more often, as I get older and more experienced. Do I succeed?
Less often than I'd like. Do I know I'm failing? most of the time. Look
at my eating habits, exercise habits, money management habits, personal
relationships, etc. ad nauseum; they could all be better than they are.
There are only so many hours in the day, and so many brain cells to
direct to the task.

Do I know what my own best self-interest *is*? Well, I do consider
myself relatively enlightened here, but even I often have no idea.

-- 
Harald Koch     <chk@pobox.com>

"It takes a child to raze a village."
		-Michael T. Fry