Subject: Re: OSDD?
From: Bob Young <bob@redhat.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 1998 16:38:32 -0400


> > From: Brian Bartholomew <bb@wv.com>
> >
> > And, why would I want to subject myself to software that's been coded
> > to maximize service revenue?  Aren't the quality incentives backwards?
> 
> This has always seemed wrong to me -- the FSF arrangement has
> always been that you make your money from support and
> enhancements.  This means that the amount of money you make is
> inversely proportional to the quality of the original work you
> did.

You are both thinking too personally about quality vs support issues.

Yes, if you are talking single independent user and his support needs 
then you are quite right, a broken piece of software will result in 
more need for support.  However even here you've got the marketing 
needs on the side of quality - how do you get people to buy software 
that is known to be broken? (if you don't have Microsoft-like 
marketing dollars).

But in  all those enterprise applications where the Pointy-Haired 
Boss just wants a working solution most support is not related to bugs.
These buyers don't want to take responsibility for the technical 
implementation, or ongoing support of the application, the support 
opportunities exist independent of the quality of the software.  This 
is because the majority of the support work is in implementation, 
integration, training, and other work associated with making the 
solution work within the enterprise, not fixing bugs.

But then I'm not a proponent of the only revenue model to free 
software being support revenues.  As I pointed out to the ABIsource 
guys who were giving away t-shirts at the OSSD event, you give away 
the software and -sell- the t-shirts.  ;-)

Cheers,   Bob.



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