Subject: Re: JBoss aquired by Red Hat
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 14 Apr 2006 18:30:49 +0900

>>>>> "Kelly" == Kelly Anderson <Anderson> writes:

    Kelly> Is it possible that from a business perspective the JBoss
    Kelly> and MySQL people are just smarter than the generic open
    Kelly> source business people?

Unlikely.

    Kelly> My thoughts are that some Free software people are kind of
    Kelly> anti-capitalistic in their political viewpoints, and that
    Kelly> this MIGHT just limit their success in a capitalistic
    Kelly> system...

I agree, they are.  But it's a very peculiar, limited form of
anti-capitalism.  The leading free software advocate, Richard
Stallman, carefully avoids making statements about "capitalism in
general" unless forced to, and then he holds his nose and says "it's
the best we know how to do so far, and I'm too busy with software
freedom to take on *that* problem."

But when it comes to software, free software people forget that the
only way to get price to go up in a free market is to restrict
quantity.  They want the customers for zero-cost goods that glut the
market to voluntarily pay price > zero.  And this makes sense from a
social perspective; it *is* better than the world we live in, with
copyright etc.

It just doesn't make sense from an individual's perspective, and isn't
going to work that way until we find a way to give those incentives to
individuals.  But *none* of the people I know who advocate that as a
social program are people on the (financial) giving end.  They all
contribute software!  Is it surprising that they don't have much
sympathy for the "stinginess" of the vast majority with "more money
than brains"?  Especially for those with *lots* of money, whether as
individuals or corporations?

As for success of free software advocates in business, I don't know of
very many free software advocates who are in the software business.
They're mostly in the free software advocacy business, or they have
day jobs and do free software development as a hobby.

    Kelly> Open Source people seem much less often in this group than
    Kelly> the FSF types...

I think they're just busier running their businesses.  :-)


-- 
Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering   University of Tsukuba
http://turnbull.sk.tsukuba.ac.jp/        Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
        Economics of Information Communication and Computation Systems
          Experimental Economics, Microeconomic Theory, Game Theory