Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: "Benjamin J. Tilly " <>
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 17:34:08 +0500

Rich Bodo <> wrote:
> >   "Yes, you are going to enable competitors that
> >   you will not even see until they eat your market
> >   out from under you, with no hope of your
> >   successfully resisting!  And the harder you work
> >   to satisfy your customers, the harder it will be
> >   for you to figure out what is going on.  Isn't
> >   this great!"
> Can you name some businesses who fell prey to the horrors of free
> software in this manner?  Can you show compellingly that their woes
> were due to their use of free software?


_The Innovator's Dilemma_ is an excellent book by
Clayton Christensen which lays out a theory of how
inferior technologies routinely replace established
predecessors.  Tim was arguing that free software
induces the dynamic that Clayton talked about.

The above is an explanation of what Clayton's thesis
looks like from the point of view of those being
destroyed.  For repeated examples of that and
explanations of why it works that way, read his book.
Free software projects fit the characteristics that he
laid out for disruptive innovation (underperforming
commodity products which do not meet customer's
current needs, but which can be projected to do so
with straightforward projectable improvement).  There
are several examples that look like his thesis in
progress.  None of them have run the course, and none
of them could readily be used to argue for the
validity of his thesis.

So you will either have to read the book, or else
accept the stipulation in my email that the management
believes Clayton Christensen's thesis.  (And believe
my characterization of it.)

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