Subject: Re: Opportunity lost? Challenge declined!?
From: "Jonathan S. Shapiro" <>
Date: Sat, 12 May 2001 12:08:41 -0400

Tim, all:

While I agree completely with the point that Tim is trying to make, I'ld
caution against generalizing from single examples. Microsoft, for example,
is an equally good exemplar if your metric for success is "successful use of
misleading business practices to establish a monopoly by displacing a
market-leading dunderhead" (I refer to the sale of a non-existent DOS to

The problem with this entire line of discussion is that there are a very
large number of factors that determine the success or failure of a
business -- regardless of the success metric you use. Sheer dumb luck plays
a depressingly large role.

If we are going to try to assess the business impact of open source, let's
try to do it in a more systematic way: identify some suitable number of open
source companies and do a serious evaluation of how/why/if the use of open
source helped them.

Oh. Now I see why you were hot for me to do those columns. I really wish
that I had time to do it now.

Jonathan Shapiro