Subject: Re: a model of competition between free and proprietary software
From: Bob Young <>
Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 17:30:34 -0400

> Economics only deals with scarcity (abundance is uninteresting because
> it's not a problem that needs solving -- but that's okay because
> scarcity is abundant).  The only scarcity I can see here is the
> entrepreneurs needed to organize such an event.  As you note, since
> you never heard back from them, they may have been too scarce.

I've heard this one before and can't follow the logic.  Economics is 
not judgmental.  It is every bit as much about scarcity as it is 
about abundance, it just comes to different conclusions.

But the main reason economic analysis is seldom 
a sufficient predictor of outcomes is because it does not factor in 
human reactions to non-quantifiable factors like marketing.

The best example is the old and badly flawed expression "if you build 
a better mouse trap the world will beat a path to your door".  As 
anyone in the tech industries know, just inventing a better mousetrap 
does not assure you of anything.  You first have to be able to convince the 
world you've built a better mousetrap.  If you don't do that then 
neither quality nor price will matter.  The reason F or P will 
succeed will be at least 50% determined by the quality of the 
respective marketing efforts.

In the case above I doubt there was a scarcity of entrepreneurs, the 
likely problem was a lack of marketing - the entrepreneurs either 
did not hear about the event, or did not think it interesting enough 
to invest their time.

Cheers,    Bob.