Subject: Re: OpenSources "opensourced"
From: Craig Brozefsky <craig@red-bean.com>
Date: 21 May 1999 04:33:31 -0700

Jean Camp <Jean_Camp@harvard.edu> writes:

> > Free software can generate revenue directly as well.  What are the
> > folx at Cygnus doing?
> >
> 
> They are bundling the software with trust & culture. The software is
> bundled with a corporate name, the corporate culture, the promise of a
> continuing corporate identity to link to the software, and a price.
> This makes the software acceptable to the corporate buyers who are
> often forbidden to use free software or shareware because of (this is
> not my argument, just a note of a common practice) security concerns.

I'm not quite as ready to write the software out of the revenue stream
yet.  If they are just selling trust and culture, then what value was
there in the initial development they did with GNU tools to make them
a complete development environment for various platforms?  What is the
value of porting it too new machines?  These add value primarily to
the software, not their their trust or culture.  These works basically
created their products and revenue stream.

I think that the trust and culture parts are quite important, but they
are mostly worthless without the value of the software being there.  I
am not saying that the Free software is the only factor in the revenue
stream, but I think it's a bit hasty to write it out completely.  The
value in the Free Software itself, it's functionality, it's
capabilities, plays a very important, but not exclusive, role when it
comes to generating revenue.

Is it because our ecomonic models are not capable of explaining why
someone would pay for something they could get at no cost elsewhere
that we must continue to write the value of of the software out of the
model entirely?  Your explanation works fine if we're drafting a
business plan and I'm trying to explain why I am worth investing in,
if all we're attempting to do is explain the situation in the logic of
capital.  If we remove the software from the equation now we can talk
in terms of a limited, and controllable resource, a posession, trust
or "culture", something which we can now use in our economic models.

-- 
Craig Brozefsky        <craig@red-bean.com>
Less matter, more form!      - Bruno Schulz
ignazz, I am truly korrupted by yore sinful tzourceware. -jb
The Osmonds! You are all Osmonds!! Throwing up on a freeway at dawn!!!