Subject: Re: [ot?] Losing Sight of Initial Desires...
From: Mark Eichin <eichin@thok.org>
Date: 13 Jul 2001 00:28:12 -0400

> hell, they'd pay. And shortly after throwing up a PayPal/Amazon 

There is some emotional magic to getting feedback like that.  However,
it is a trap to think that "getting some money tossed your way"
equates to "ecomonmically feasible commercial software"...  instead,
it is a bit saner to treat it as a concrete expression of the
ego-reward of having a *community* around your package.

As a specific example, the author of the RT "request tracker" (and
yes, he's one of the few developers of such systems that I've seen
really get the fact that user requests/reports are *distinct* from
software bugs and need to be tracked differently...) puts a pointer to
his Amazon wishlist on his web page -- and people buy him things off
of it!  Now, this in now way "pays the bills", doesn't cover his rent
or anything -- that's what the consulting contracts are for
(deployment and customization.)  None of these are "charging for the
software" of course.