Subject: Re: [coallesced replies] Re: how to create 21,780 new free software jobs (2,530 in R&D)
From: "Stephen J. Turnbull" <>
Date: Tue, 05 Nov 2002 17:57:28 +0900

I'm impressed.  This actually looks like a bird.

>>>>> "Tom" == Tom Lord <> writes:

    Tom> The campuses work.  Very well.

That's right.

What bothers me most about your whole scenario, though, is that it's
seriously dependent on Microsoft-style monopoly.  That's how the
campuses do it.  OK, they support Windows _and_ Mac, but only one
office suite, one web browser, one MTA, one MUA, plus Mathematica.
Anything else, pay extra.  (At least, that's how it works at the
places I know.)  "Everybody has the right to fork from the only game
in town, but not to change the game."

I just don't think free software people are going to put up with
that.  So you'll get competition, you'll get people saying about you
_exactly the same things you say about Red Hat_, etc.  And how do you
stop peer-to-peer redistribution of your services?  In a region with
60,000 potential subscribers, do you really think you're going to get
all of them?

And, anyway, it's been tried.  Itty-bitty ISPs are dead, haven't you
heard?  The medium-sized ones are really struggling.  The big ones are
tying up with content providers or telcos ... I can see it now
... "Lord/Disney Networks presents a Major Motion Picture by Steven
Spielberg!"  Yow!

    Tom> "Chance of success" is not low.

Be careful what you ask for.  You might get it.  Make sure you have
defined "success" properly, and that the VCs have bought in....

I see some interesting numbers, I'll admit.  But I have this funny
feeling that the VCs will figure out quickly that there just isn't a
real need for FS R&D staff in this operation.  Instead, virtualize by
having Red Hat provide the distro, get Ximian or the Kompany to beef
up desktop support training, etc.  We (the VCs) _hate_ cats; let the
catherds deal with them....

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