Subject: Re: Thoughts on GPL
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: 4 Mar 1998 03:15:35 -0000

Jonathan S. Shapiro writes:
 > What I realized today is that there is one kind of market condition
 > under which a free software vendor can enter and dominate: any
 > established market lacking a single dominant player (or a pair of
 > them).

But it has to dominate a big enough niche.  Packet drivers dominated
the "connect to a Novell server and the Internet simultaneously" niche 
for at least a year.  Now, I wasn't in business at the time, which was 
mostly my myopia.  But I think that things would have turned out the
same anyway, because Novell dominated the print/file server market so
completely that when they said "jump" to ODI, people jumped.  That,
plus the advent of protected mode, doomed packet drivers to being a
niche product instead of dominating the market.

'Course, it could also be that I'm a crummy businessman.  :)

-russ <>
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