Subject: Re: "I've got more programmers than you"
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <turnbull@sk.tsukuba.ac.jp>
Date: Fri, 5 Oct 2001 19:07:47 +0900

>>>>> "Zimran" == Zimran Ahmed <zimran_ahmed@yahoo.com> writes:

    Zimran> Wed, 3 Oct 2001 22:06:13 -0700
    Zimran> "Karsten M. Self" <kmself@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

Uh-uh, that was me.  And I have no idea who wrote the other thing you
quoted.  Why bother attributing at all?  :-(

    Zimran> it also sounds like folks on this list are comparing FSBs
    Zimran> to software companies when they talk about "inherent
    Zimran> financial weakness."  This is almost certainly the wrong
    Zimran> model, better to look at service firms, like niche
    Zimran> consultancies, law firms, etc. Only coming from the

I hope not!  I think everybody here hopes there is a model for
developing free software profitably, even though some of us rather
suspect it's as likely as a perpetual motion machine.

Anyway, getting _away_ from service was exactly Tom Lord's point.  So
it needed to be answered on its merits, rather than simply dismissed.

    Zimran> software world could you gripe about a 20%
    Zimran> margin being slim. Most industries would kill for
    Zimran> margins that fat.

Most industries also don't have to worry about a Finnish college kid
with no financial backing at all kicking their whole raison d'etre out
from under them.  A 20% margin on products that make it to market is
nowhere near good enough in software development, any more than it is
in drug development.  That margin has to pay for all the failures you
never admit even got started (not to mention the ones that got
announced and you blew a wad on marketing before they got killed).


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