Subject: Re: New ESR paper: The Magic Cauldron
From: Ian Lance Taylor <>
Date: 24 Jun 1999 23:14:40 -0400

   From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
   Date: Fri, 25 Jun 1999 11:28:36 +0900 (JST)

       Ian> In his list of free software models, he doesn't mention the
       Ian> insurance model.

   I'm not sure what you mean by that; "insurance" is implicit in
   "risk-spreading" which he discusses in the Cisco case.  If you mean
   "selling insurance", that's either support or risk-spreading in the
   Cisco sense; I don't see what else you mean?

I meant specifically in the list of free software models in chapter 8:
In this model you release the software and then sell insurance (``if
this software does not do what you need it to do, we will pay you
$X'') rather than selling support or services.

I suppose on looking more closely it's an instance of 8.3 ``Give Away
the Razor, Sell Razor Blades,'' but it has a different feel to it.
For one thing, insurance is more likely to be sold by somebody else,
although in this paper ESR doesn't talk much about third-party

       Ian> He adopts some ideas I first saw clearly expressed in Neal
       Ian> Stephenson's In the Beginning paper about software following
       Ian> a natural evolution from application to infrastructure.