Subject: Re: Free software businesses
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 21:30:24 +0900

>>>>> "g" == DV Henkel-Wallace <> writes:

    g> I'l repeat what I've said for decades: "there's no such thing
    g> as a 'Free Software business' any more than there is such a
    g> thing as a 'C business' or a 'SQL business' "

In the contexts I've seen you post that before, it meant "a free
software business has to act like a business."  True, too true.  If
you're a C shop and your current business goes south, you'd better
worry that it's a general trend and think about learning to hack
Brainf**k or drive a forklift.  Find *something* where customers still

But you're also more likely to get something going quickly if you can
find a reasonably durable niche where your C skills are still valued.
Can you?  Maybe not ... but isn't that the first place to look?  It
requires a fuzzier argument for free software, but I'd say it's still
true.  Sometimes it makes sense for the cobbler to stick to his last,
even if he's got to switch from cowboy boots to platform sandals.

There *is* a sense in which CBs, SQLBs, and FSBs exist.  If you're not
going to acknowledge that, well, your skepticism is a useful
corrective to fanboy enthusiasm.  I still want to hear it.  But I see
nothing in the conversation to interest you. :-(

    g> Free software/"open source" just isn't on my radar, and if
    g> someone offered me something and that phrase appeared in the
    g> first visit, I'd probably just show 'em the door.  I'm small,
    g> and cheap, and moving really fast, and need major innovation,
    g> and I don't have time for that crap.

I don't get it.  You're not a customer for the "free software"
feature.  So?  There are other customers.

School of Systems and Information Engineering
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
               Ask not how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.