Subject: So... Re: offering pre-purchases
From: Thomas Lord <>
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2007 20:18:08 -0700

Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> What bet?  Tom is not going to get and license patents, 

If I come up with the next RSA I might, actually -- but I haven't
thought of anything patentable.

> it's against
> his religion,

Not quite.

>  and you only have to talk to him for about 15 minutes to
> realize that if his given name were "Steve", his surname would begin
> with "W" not "J". 

I'm very flattered.   But: I like "J", too.   I have an inner "J", big time,
so to speak.   Underdeveloped for want of opportunity, but it's there.

>  Tom *is* thinking in terms of business, and he's
> willing to put effort into marketing *his* business, but that business
> is R&D, not marketing.
> This is the nub of the problem, always has been.  Neither prepurchase
> markets nor prediction markets help with this.  The bet is on whether
> Tom will produce something useful to you in his research, but
> realizing that and making use of it is your problem.  But nobody but
> Tom can capitalize it without IP, and IP (so far, at least) has been
> unacceptable to him (and of course takes it right out of the sphere of
> FSB).

It's true that I'm trying to leverage a unique position but false that I
am against IP in any form.    I use trade secrets all the time, for example.
I don't happen to think it is sustainable or smart to hoard server-side apps
in the style of today's web 2.0 company's,  but there's a lot of nuance to
the arguments there when they are fully presented.

>  > Many investors want to split up and reaggregate investments.
> It seems likely to me that our favorite whipping boy, the cranially
> insufficient venture capitalist, continues to receive power, glory,
> money, and social approbation precisely because this risk is not
> securitizable.  If you've got enough money, you can diversify by
> buying more than one, but it's not really possible to "split up" and
> reaggregate.

If I'm following you two correctly:  in the software lifecyle, you can 
"split up" and
reaggregate the risk of buying more than one in some smart ways.    VCs 
right now
rely almost entirely on nepotism to find deals.  My claim is that they 
can build markets
that will reliably produce deals -- but they actually need to help make 
those markets.