Subject: Re: A few here may have an opinion on this
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 01:31:10 +0900

>>>>> "Wendel" == Wendel de Joode <Wendel> writes:

    Wendel> Thus have blockbuster apps really created a lot of value? 
    Wendel> Or were they the result of good marketing campaigns?

Do you really think the bean-counters who bought Apple IIs for the
sole purpose of running Visicalc were doing so because they were high
on Dan Bricklin's hot air?  I don't.

    Wendel> Therefore I am not quite sure why Nintendo would have
    Wendel> created more value than for instance Apache or Linux. The
    Wendel> question I think becomes: How can we value open source and
    Wendel> free software and how should we compare this to
    Wendel> proprietary software?

Yes, that's exactly the question I'm trying to get at.

And my answer is, "ask the people who have to pay for the goods how
much they're willing to pay, in a way that gets a credible answer."
Nintendo does this, by making the users pay.  And the users do pay,
repeatedly.  We know Nintendo is creating value, and we can actually
put a _firm_ lower bound on that value: Nintendo's revenue.

But any Linux user will tell you his installation of Linux is worth a
million, because he knows he will still be able to download a full
upgrade tomorrow for free.  We have no credible numbers for free
software.  Just self-serving stories about how "Microsoft value" is
created by marketing, and "Linux value" is destroyed by managers who
won't believe that a $0 OS can outperform Solaris.

Credibly measuring the value of your product is something you _must_
do---simply by selling it---if you wish to use a proprietary license,
and something you _can't_ do if you use a free one.  :-(

Institute of Policy and Planning Sciences
University of Tsukuba                    Tennodai 1-1-1 Tsukuba 305-8573 JAPAN
 My nostalgia for Icon makes me forget about any of the bad things.  I don't
have much nostalgia for Perl, so its faults I remember.  Scott Gilbert