Subject: Re: a model of competition between free and proprietary software
From: Russell Nelson <>
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 10:42:29 -0400 (EDT)

Bob Young writes:
 > > 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.

Economics tries to answer the question "What are you gonna give up to
get something else?"  If you don't have to give up anything, then
economics really has nothing to say about it.

 > 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.

You mean: the main reason bad economic analysis is seldom a sufficient 
predictor of outcomes ....

 > The reason F or P will succeed will be at least 50% determined by
 > the quality of the respective marketing efforts.

Or to put it another way, without marketing, the failure of any
project is guaranteed.  Packet drivers were a success because I told
people about them every chance I got.  If you've got something good,
you've just GOT to tell people about it.

-russ nelson <>
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