Subject: Re: filtering for expensive customers?
From: Federico Lucifredi <>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2006 19:21:02 -0500

I fully agree with you Sergio -- my point was on monetization, not on 

In terms of adoption (and even in terms of making a sale), in-house 
expertise is the greatest enabler. in terms of returns, however, the 
point stands.


Sergio Montoro Ten wrote:
> It is my personal belief that it works just the opposite way: the more 
> in-house know-how that a customer has, the more likely is that he favors 
> F/OSS.
> This is because the highly experienced customers like the added control 
> that they can have over software when they use F/OSS, whilst customers 
> that do not have anysoftware development skills of their own do not care 
> of whether the software is open or not, as they cannot take advantadge 
> of the Open Source nature of whet their are using.
> I think that this point of view can be supported by a couple of articles.
> One from Andrew Conry-Murray in Information Week stating the SMEs fear 
> Open Source because they do not have the IT manpower neccesary to 
> install and run Free Software.

> And another study from Simula Labs that reveals that 33% of customers 
> choose F/OSS because of the extra feeling of control that it gives.

> So my conclusion is that the more developers a customer has, the more it 
> favors F/OSS over closed source software, as developers tend to preffer 
> F/OSS and influence the decision makers when the time to buy comes.
> Sergio Montoro Ten.
>> Hello All,
>>   I have recently struck a reflection that I consider interesting:
>>  Postulate: Market analysts tell us that the #1 competitor to F/OSS 
>> companies is internal expertise at the customer site: in short, if the 
>> local crew is smart and attuned with the state of the software they 
>> want to deploy, possibly even maintaining ties to the relevant part of 
>> the community, they will deploy and support said software themselves. 
>> Vendors might come in (much) later, and only because of a need to 
>> blame-shift in very large/critical deployments (or in the mind of a 
>> new director of IT operations ;-)
>>  Given the premise above, it looks like more often than not F/OSS 
>> vendors are vying for the business of the customers who do *not* have 
>> sufficient on-site expertise - in other words, it looks like one might 
>> be selecting customers coming from the most clueless part of the pool!
>>  Why is this an F/OSS concern? Well, we all know that, in general, 
>> engineers like to think that "customers suck", but this thinking 
>> pushes it to a new level: while in the proprietary market, all 
>> customers must purchase support from you, in our brave new world, only 
>> the less clueful  need to. Besides the inherent higher stress this 
>> places on the support crew, this is also expensive from a business 
>> perspective - the ideal support customers are, obviously, the ones who 
>> never need it.
>>  Am I wondering about the obvious?  Perhaps I am being too 
>> pessimistic. But if you accept the postulate, the thesis seems to follow.
>>  Best-F


-- "'Problem' is a bleak word for challenge" - Richard Fish
(Federico L. Lucifredi) -