Subject: Re: low signal
From: Stephen J. Turnbull <>
Date: 29 Oct 2001 11:58:45 +0900

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

    Chris> Actually, my point is precisely that reality is defined by
    Chris> the investment community --

Did you miss the _mis_?

    Chris> You have to show how an FSB can achieve [profit in the
    Chris> context of current business prejudices] in order to
    Chris> get funding, not that some other set of criteria is more
    Chris> appropriate.

I hope not.  And I don't believe that VCs are that stupid.  The point
is to find one who will change his criteria when you show a plausible,
large enough expectation of profit.  I don't say that it's easy; in
practice, you do have to fight the consensus unreality.  And you
aren't going to change those criteria on the basis of woolly "new
society" thinking---but even though woolly "new economy" thinking has
been debunked, it shows that the consensus unreality _can_ be altered.

One of my points has always been that FSBs operate with one revenue
stream (license fees) redirected to /dev/freerider (or /dev/public if
you're an optimist).  If we cannot change the conventional perception
that that is a _crippling_ flaw for a software development business,
we are SOL in that market.

Russ and Karsten point out that there are other ways to build
businesses (self-financing, Jean Camp recently mentioned the Grameen
group).  Growing businesses will eventually change that perception of
a crippling handicap.  But the sooner we get access to conventional
venture financing the sooner we achieve our goals.  I think it is
worth exploring for ways to get it now.

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.