Subject: Re: low signal
From: Stephen J. Turnbull <>
Date: 27 Oct 2001 13:26:00 +0900

>>>>> "Chris" == Chris Maeda <> writes:

    Chris> The problem with this list is that most of the traffic is
    Chris> about "How I could make a living writing free software if
    Chris> the world were different in the following way..."

I think that's a bit unfair.  That presumes you know what the world is
like.  But that's what a lot of the philosophical bullshit on this
list is, controversy about what the world is _really_ like.  As far as
I can tell, those posters can validly argue, "The problem is to explain
the real world to the VCs and convince them that it is real."

Surely your "real world" isn't defined by VCs' _mis_perceptions!  If
not, discussion of what part of their conventional world is real, and
of the rest, where we should concentrate our "educational" effort, is

    Chris> Authors should assume that they are pitching to investors;
    Chris> don't tell me how you wish the world was different, tell me
    Chris> how you are going to make money for your investors in this
    Chris> world.

What you're talking about is a "writer's workshop" for FSB proposals.

Good idea, but I don't think that can work on an open list.  What
might work on this list is the other way around: successful people
posting their past proposals, explaining why they did or didn't get
funded, and also any other mistakes they made in them even if it
didn't affect funding.  Somebody (Ian Taylor?) mentioned Sequoia's
"let's see if you have an idea worth any further consideration" web
page; more references like that would be good, too.

    Chris> I'll bet enough people this list made money in the past few
    Chris> years that you could get it funded.

I'll take the other side of that bet.  :-)

The original, longer and too adversarial, draft of this post,
containing a proposal for "writer's workshops" in somewhat more
detail, along with a lot more rationale (what I'm best at ;-), is at

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
              Don't ask how you can "do" free software business;
              ask what your business can "do for" free software.