Subject: Re: A few thoughts.
Date: Thu, 13 Aug 1998 10:04:54 +0000 (/etc/localtime)

	For an innovative product to succeed, people has to use it. And 
making it free software is one of the simpler and more reliable ways
of achieving it. You have many examples of this, starting with the
BSD Internet software, which was widely incorporated in many Unix (and non 
Unix) systems, and made the Internet, as we know it today, a real
thing. More recently, you have Mosaic (and Netscape and Explorer),
which either were free software, or derivatives of free software, and
in any case were given for free (at least in many cases). Were they
not free, the Webification probably hadn't succeed at the speed it is
doing. At least for this kind of applications, innovation and free
software were hand by hand.

	Of course, there are counter-examples, and small markets could 
be very different, anyway, from mass markets.

	Just my 2ptas opinion...


David Welton writes:
 > Hi, I was thinking the other evening, and, I think I may have hit on
 > something that has been nagging at me as far as the idea of businesses
 > based on free software.
 > A lot of people focus on the fact that businesses will need software
 > regardless of whether it is free or not, and this is good, I agree.
 > The thing I was able to put my finger on is this - what happens to
 > people who really are innovators in this free software world?  It
 > seems to me that if I had something truly new, that hiding it, and
 > being the only source of it for a certain period of time (untill
 > someone made a free version), is going to be my best bet as far as
 > profits are concerned.  After a certain point, it loses value, because
 > of immitations, and I could free the source.  This is sort of what
 > netscape has done.
 > Now, that's an ok model, and *most* software would be free, but the
 > cutting edge would not.  Free software would be for those who copied,
 > emulated, and maintained the code of others.  Not that this would be
 > bad, but...  I'm just starting out my career as a programmer, and
 > naturally, I aspire to be the best that I can - on the 'cutting edge'
 > if I'm good enough.  So, working my way up, I do free software, and
 > then, at the pinnacle of success, hide what I create?
 > [...]

Jesus M. Gonzalez Barahona             | Grupo de Sistemas y Comunicaciones
tel +3491 624 9458, fax +3491 624 9430 | Departamento de Informatica, | Universidad Carlos III de Madrid       | c/ Butarque, 15, 28911 Leganes, Spain