Subject: Re: Support as insurance
From: Russell Nelson <nelson@crynwr.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 1999 17:51:54 -0500 (EST)

Ben_Tilly@trepp.com writes:
 > Russell Nelson writes:
 > > Insurance is a bet.  You're betting that the disaster *is* going to
 > > happen, and the insurance company is betting that it isn't.  The
 > > reason they make money is because they're in a better position to
 > > evaluate the risks than you are.
 > 
 > Wrong.

No, I'm not wrong; we're both right.

 > The reason that they can make money is that they can better afford a
 > disaster than you can.  They can afford to average over many people and
 > many accidents.  You typically cannot.  The agreement is mutually
 > beneficial.  They benefit on the odds, you benefit on the guarantee that
 > you do not personally have the resources to handle.

You're not getting my point.  In the case of free software support as
insurance, the purchaser is able to affect the frequency of the
disaster.  And because of that, unless you take steps to prevent it,
the only people who will purchase the insurance are those who can
predict that they will need it.  Then, it's not insurance and if you
price it as such, you're going to sink like a submarine with a screen
door.

That's one of the reasons why medical insurance (the real thing, not
the ersatz stuff that employers provide) doesn't cover pre-existing
conditions.  And if you seen an insurance plan that does, it's not
insurance, it's socialized medicine.

-- 
-russ nelson <sig@russnelson.com>  http://russnelson.com
Crynwr sells support for free software  | PGPok | Government schools are so
521 Pleasant Valley Rd. | +1 315 268 1925 voice | bad that any rank amateur
Potsdam, NY 13676-3213  | +1 315 268 9201 FAX   | can outdo them. Homeschool!