Subject: Re: [Freesw] Re: FreeDevelopers
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <>
Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2001 18:07:44 -0500

All: This is my last post on this subject unless TonStanco has a useful
response. It's gone on long enough. Still, many people here helped me when
*I* was hopelessly confused (and occasionally still do, since confusion has
no permanent cure)....


I think it is somewhat telling that the people on this list who are most
skeptical about FreeDevelopers are those who have built successful
businesses and organizations. Rather than speak for them, let me try to give
you a sense of why this is so by using myself as an example.

I have a working, active community (the EROS community) that is already
known and slowly becoming more financially effective within the free
software community. I don't need a new company. I'm not interested in a
credo. I really don't care about revolutionary business models that appear
to be totally without substance. I have a pretty strong grasp on how to
market this kind of product, and I have a very strong grasp on finance
(something that FreeDeveloper seems to need, by the way). Like several
(many?) others on this list, I've actually *built* organizations and
companies that have been multimillion dollar revenue generators -- more than
once. Like *all* of the people on the list, my time is valuable and
revolutions without substance aren't a good use of that time.

The details of course vary from participant to participant, but I think that
this characterization is reasonably representative of many people on this
list. Some, of course, are at earlier stages of the process, but the point
still holds -- their time is valuable.

In three to five (reasonable length) sentences or less, why should I care
about FreeDevelopers? If you can't answer the question in three to five
sentences that make a compelling business case, you really aren't ready to
be talking to people like me or FSB.

Either convince me in those three to five sentences that it's worth reading
your web site when I have a stack 100 deep of email messages that actually
*need* my attention, or go away and come back when you *can* convince me.

Please understand: I'm not interested in discouraging you. I'm interested in
making you productive. Preferably without sacrificing my own productivity.

Jonathan Shapiro