Subject: Re: Business plan for Messieurs Lord & Turnbull
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 05:27:37 +0900

David Welton writes:

 > Why don't you sit down and write the "definitive" book on the
 > economics and business of free software?

I suggested a book to Tim O'Reilly, and he replied that he didn't think
my suggestion was particularly interesting.  I think he was right. :-)

I've been thinking for a long time about how to do it better, but
haven't had time to actually *do* it.

Although your point about me being in the business of collecting and
disseminating is correct (and I do feel a certain burden of
responsibility), I certainly wouldn't pretend to write the definitive
book, since I've never actually done free software business.

There are lots of good books out there, Chris DiBona's "Open Sources"
series, for one.  I will agree that there's a need for a textbook
treatment different from the ones I've seen so far (Fogel's book is
literally at the top of my list so I can't comment, but the others
I've read have been unimpressive---the best are really about how to
insinuate FLOSS practices and products into large enterprises, so miss
the point most of us are interested in).  But I'm not entirely sure
that readers' money wouldn't be better spent on a combination of "Open
Sources" and a general text on managerial economics such as the one
written by Michael Baye than on the book I would write.