Subject: Re: the Free Software Movement in Industry
From: Seth Gordon <>
Date: 24 Aug 2001 16:59:50 -0000

    > Conversely, the software companies' directors would want the
    > flexibility to say, "Our bid to telco A is too low to cover the cost
    > of the extra features we are implementing for them, but that's OK,
    > because those features will make our product more attractive when we
    > bid for contracts at telcos B, C, and D."

   [Jesus M. Gonzalez Barahona:]
   This is a bit contradictory with the previous assumption (company A is
   not willing to pay for develpments for company B).

Company A is not willing to pay for development that company B could
later get *for free*.  However, if it saves Company A money up front,
it would be happy to pay for development that company B would get
later *for a price*.  (Assuming, of course, that the software vendor
is negotiating just as stiffly with B as with A.)

   If a given company decides it can compete in the market of billing
   software for telcos with a free software product

Oh, sure, once you have one free and decent-quality telecom billing
product in the marketplace, that upsets everything.  The problem is, I
don't see how we can *get* that one product -- it's not the sort of
project to excite either hackers in their spare time or venture
capitalists.  Lots of people were willing to use version 0.1 of Linux
and contribute their suggestions for improving it, but who would use
version 0.1 of a telecom billing system?

"Rav would never cross a bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Maybe he
will be judged and I will be taken with him.'  Shmuel would only cross a
bridge when an idolator was on it; he said, 'Satan cannot rule two nations [at
once].'  Rabbi Yannai would examine [the bridge] and cross."  --Shabbat 32a
== Seth Gordon == == == std. disclaimer ==