Subject: Re: street performer protocol
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 15:41:52 +0900 (JST)

>>>>> "Crispin" == Crispin Cowan <crispin@wirex.com> writes:

    Crispin> If you read the history of Red Hat, you discover that it
    Crispin> was almost entirely funded by revenue until late 1998 or
    Crispin> early 1999.
    >> Huh?  They published their books?  Where can I get hold of
    >> those?

    Crispin> I dunnow about published books; I heard this informally.
    Crispin> But they didn't have major investors until 98, and they
    Crispin> did have major revenues.  Book publishing should have
    Crispin> happened as part of the IPO prospectus.

As pointed out elsewhere, costs matter.  The books that get published
in the IPO are simply enough to guarantee that the company exists and
that there is something approximating a business plan.  (AFAIK, Linux
One was a valid startup as far as the SEC forms were concerned.)  But
more than that would reveal strategic information, and the SEC does
not require that.

This is not the detailed cost breakdown needed to demonstrate the
kinds of issues we're discussing.  We really need to know how much of
Red Hat development was financed by revenues, how much was contrib
stuff from academics, how much was financed by paying developers in
options, etc.  That won't be in the SEC disclosure, that's Red Hat's
bread and butter; Bob Young would be in serious trouble with his
stockholders if he published it on FSB to help settle this thread!

In fact, given the respect I've seen for "software metrics" on this
list, I would be rather surprised to find that Red Hat actually has
the relevant data (and would immediately start planning my purchases
of RH stock as my estimate of their ability to ride the tsunami will
take a large positive jump ;-).

We're both just blowing smoke on the data, as far as I can tell.  I
admit that I'm just talking "received economic theory" plus some
historical analogies and toy examples disguised by real names.  You
have any disclaimers you want to post?  :-)


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