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Author Topic: The indelicate subject....... money  (Read 1698 times)

himagain

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The indelicate subject....... money
« on: January 21, 2013, 02:54:33 AM »
Greetings from the other side of the fence!
More of a desperate User than anything, but 30 years in international corporate counselling makes me like an old, old racehorse: I still react to the starter's gun. :-)

Two things that made me very successful in corporate turnaround consulting were my habit of rule-breaking and the "5 Whys".

Rule-breaking meant simply challenging accepted conventions and here by example is a giant one: "Don't tell them the price till the end of the pitch".
This bit of insanity is still alive and well to this very day. Even the peddlers of home exercising equipment and cooking utensils have this insane belief that people will be interested in a 15 minute or 30 minute sales pitch before they get to hearing the price.Of course, the product has to have some value to it for any sort of pitch to work. But greater sales always go up to an informed  buyer.

This is vitally tied into another amazing belief that the price always has to be sugarcoated or hidden in some way. An excellent way to signal to the prospective buyer that the deal isn't a good one.
Of course, here is another  codicil:The seller needs to believe in his product and that the price is right.

Another very peculiar belief that is limited entirely to the Western world is that software should be free, after all, it is easy to create for a competent programmer. He (usually) doesn't have anything in the way of overheads, most of the code is usually borrowed, and he cuts the code quite often in an employer's time. Oh, and any really good code cutter finds it all very easy to do.......

This is an area of the jungle that I wasted several good years on in  the Linux zone, trying to educate those very well-meaning mainly extremely young people that profit of one kind or another is vitally necessary for everybody's survival. All I kept trying to do was inculcate the idea that at least overheads and direct costs should be met and that promotion was also going to be vital, if any headway was to be made against the Microsoft monster.

I even proposed a very simple solution: make the whole organisation a legal, non-profit and thus tax-deductible exercise.
I also put forward the idea that a simple "administration fee" of $10 should be charged and split 50-50 between the organisation and whoever designed the version.

Implicitly though, is the codicil that professional/rapid support to a commercial entity of any kind would be quotable or tendered on the System.
The alternative being Community Support via a Bulletin Board Forum.

It would have worked then, it would work now for  DONATIONCODER and to satisfy the desire for universal availability, a form could be offered to apply for a no-charge version on the grounds of inability to pay, or as a reverse donation in the case of a charity.

The "5 Whys?"
Every objection to change must answer the question "Why do it that way", 5 times.

Peace! Or else!
STOP ME?? They can\'t stop m

mouser

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2013, 05:45:05 AM »
I'm not sure I fully understand what you are saying -- perhaps you could elaborate a little bit?

40hz

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2013, 07:24:02 AM »
Minor question: When it comes to Linux, exactly what "entire organization" is being referred to?

Because there really isn't one.

I also don't think the attitude that "software should be free" is a wholly western attitude. At least if the widespread eastern penchant for digital piracy over the last two decades is anything to go by.
 :)

himagain

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2013, 06:52:12 PM »
I'm not sure I fully understand what you are saying -- perhaps you could elaborate a little bit?

Hi Mouser,
The key point is bound in one word: meme.

As an aetiologist, it has plagued me for half-a century.
The strange and awful belief structures that appear out of the common psyche. 
Buddhism is a great example. A strange belief system with no traditional origin structure,  which has been massively adopted without rhyme or reason in diverse cultures.
It has close ties aetiologically to the Linux world, but is far less emotionally charged. 
(A strange paradox in the business of Religions.)
Buddhism has no real-world structure of capitalisation at all. Thus, the money made in its structure is highly localised and inefficient.
It does excuse itself by claiming to be "unworldly", but in fact because it has no foundational/organised structure, despite its quite vast numbers, it has had no effect for 400 years. It is still broke, thus powerless in real affairs.
Thus, strange and bizarre belief systems prevail in totality, thanks to their unified front against such a would-be usurper.
Despite even less credible bases, and dangerously violent memes that you are with them or dead, they prevail.

By simple substitution: Buddhism = Linux/O.S.  and Microsoft et al = Commercial Software.

My point as always, is: it doesn't have to be this way.
But any change has to be sideways......   :-}
   
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himagain

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2013, 07:10:53 PM »
Minor question: When it comes to Linux, exactly what "entire organization" is being referred to?

Because there really isn't one.

I also don't think the attitude that "software should be free" is a wholly western attitude. At least if the widespread eastern penchant for digital piracy over the last two decades is anything to go by.
 :)
Hi there, I get the humour, but there actually is quite an effort for years to capitalise Linux.
I've known a few of the people who tried and my advice was always as here:
Forget it. You are dealing with a meme.
To turn it into a real business you would have to abandon the Linux meme altogether and start a new Religion.
Do a "Jobs". Rename Unix just as Jobs did with the failed Apple O.S. and Linux.
Simply write it out of the picture and take the high ground by force.
But have a tangible product, aim at the "Early Adopters" and price to the top of the market, with a different colour scheme.

So it isn't really a good financial decision to support free/O.S. in any shape, except to support its adherents who will produce astounding work for the love of doing it. Oh, and the dream of coming up with that killer code...  :-)
 
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40hz

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2013, 07:35:07 PM »
Um...FWIW, the entire FOSS concept was never intended to be viewed as a business model. It's a philosophy. Those who believe in it do it. Those who don't simply don't. Unless they're the sort who are constantly looking for ways to "monetize" things and somehow do an end run around the social contract by availing themselves of what FOSS has to offer without honoring the requirement they give back to the community. It doesn't work. And you usually don't get away with it for long - as many discovered who tried.

Also, Apple's OSX has nothing (as in nada) to do with Linux. Nor did Jobs "rename" Unix. Both are common misconceptions. He had his engineers base OSX on NextStep (which was based on the Mach kernal and BSD) because he did not want to open Apple's source code to any who wanted it. He preferred to keep what Apple brought to the equation (i.e. the userland experience and other code - which was substantial btw) completely proprietary - something Apple was legally allowed to do under the terms of the license BSD/Mach/NextStep shipped under.

Apple "got it" and sidestepped Linux completely. Very smart. Saved themselves and us a boatload of grief.

Apple understood that if you want to do software as a business, do it as a business. If you want to do FOSS, do FOSS. Many people in software seem to be unable to grasp that simple realization.

Like the Zen master said:

     When sitting, just sit.
     While walking, just walk.
     Above all, try not to wobble.

« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 07:41:09 PM by 40hz »

himagain

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 08:51:57 PM »

Quote: "Apple "got it" and sidestepped Linux completely. Very smart."
Exactly my point!

Saved themselves and us a boatload of grief.
Not sure what you mean by "us" here? You mentioned Userland - do you go back that far?? :-)
I do recall a broohaha about Applescript doing the wrong thing to Userland. Never got the whole story - it was a typical Apple thang in them days.
I used to use the Apple story regularly in management-salvaging contracts that were my bread and butter in them days.
Had to stop, was threatened by Steve's "attack dogs" so switched to G.E. who didn't care.....   :-)

But what a story Apple was/is. Became a ...... meme.

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Joe Hone

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 09:28:57 PM »
I think you are painting with an overbroad brush; not everything has to be for profit and places like DonationCoder provide alternatives for those willing to pitch in and participate within the goals of the community. I know a big name Disney employee (doesn't matter where you live or what you watch or listen to, you've heard his work) who freely donates his studio expertise after hours, should he be charging for that too? I don't see how coding and software development is any different - if you get satisfaction from making something and want to share it, go for it. And if you bring it here, someone is going to like what you did and you get a bonus, DC credits.

If you are commenting about streams of commerce and promising code development that fizzled and died due to poor decisions being made and the simple fact that people tend to pay closer attention to something they have to pay for, I get that. But I don't see where you're going to generate a lot of discussion about that in a sharing community like DC.

40hz

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Re: The indelicate subject....... money
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2013, 10:33:42 PM »
You mentioned Userland - do you go back that far?? :-)

I do. I go back to the pre-personal computer days. Even before the Altair and Kim-1. I wrote what was probably my first "real program" in APL running on a Honeywell mainframe back when the "big iron" dinosaurs freely roamed our data centers. But I was using userland in this context rather than this one when I said it.

Had to stop, was threatened by Steve's "attack dogs" so switched to G.E. who didn't care.....   :-)

Years ago GE Corporate was a client of mine and I was very involved with their software licensing program as a contract employee. You probably talked to Mr. P.C. then. He was their resident ogre for that. He had little use for any software company.  ;D