Subject: Re: A draft business plan for free software LISP vendors
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 1999/03/07
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

  a business plan is something you can take to an investor (bank) and say
  "this is how I think X amount of money can become Y amount of money with
  Z number of people in T amount of time and you have X amount of money, I
  know how to get Z number of people, so how about you and I make Z amount
  of money?"

  what you have posted, Francois-Rene Rideau, is basically on par with
  going to an investor and saying "I am deeply convinced that it is in your
  interest to give me X amount of money, so how about it?"

  the more insane drivel I read from proponents of Free Software and Open
  Source, the more convinced I am that this once noble movement will go
  away and not even become a footnote in the history of mankind when their
  real goal has been achieved: the destruction of Microsoft.

  in my view, Microsoft has never been particularly relevant.  they are
  very good at defrauding people who don't know what to look for every time
  they part with a small amount of money, but if I were to be fazed by such
  people, I'd be seriously bothered by any and all politicians, commodity
  advertising, televised propaganda, etc, and I'm not.  I'm bothered by the
  fact that stupid people don't spontaneously combust, which they should.
  no, seriously, I'm fighting the view that Microsoft is relevant to anyone
  and want people to look over yonder knoll when Bill Gates is in jail or
  in a mental institution and none of the mindless droids in Redmond know
  what to do with their lives when fraud is no longer a viable option.
  Free Software is a protest movement.  Open Source is a weapon.  I can see
  a significant constructive element to Free Software, but I can't see any
  with Open Source.  Linux is _not_ a success to be repeated, just like
  Microsoft is the last of its kind.  in both cases, however, men in suits
  with their ties so tight blood supply to the brain is cut off believe
  they know what caused these successes and attempt to emulate them through
  some incidental quality that has nothing to do with the success.  some
  other fanatics also crawl out of the woodwork to predict doom and
  disaster if everything doesn't follow the Grand Business Model de jour.

* Francois-Rene Rideau <fare@ZhengHe.augustin.thierry>
| I would prefer to resume my work rather than post yet another article on
| the topic, but there are many misconceptions about free software that
| seem to creep in your posts, that I'd like to dispell, even though odds
| are low that will suffice to convince anyone.

  some day, I hope you will start to listen to people who have worked with
  Free Software for the better part of a decade and have wondered (1) why
  people get much enthused but then leave disappointed and disgruntled, (2)
  why free software programs gain a very high quality as long as the goal
  is very clear, and (3) why it then goes on to accrete crappy features
  nobody needs but are fun to add by the less competent people who are
  unable to accept that an idea has fully matured.  (watch GNU ls acquire
  "human" sizes, for instance: multiples of 1000, instead of 1024.)

  Free Software or Open Source is _not_ a panacea, nor a religion, and it
  should be possible to argue against it without someone who is still wet
  behind his ears coming out to "dispell misconceptions" because he fails
  to understand what people are talking about.

  as I have said previously, immaturity is a fact of life, which it is not
  smart to deny or ignore, but which also should not be catered to.  people
  who think they are already mature _enough_ are unlikely to mature _more_,
  but part of the process is to realize that some of one's core beliefs may
  be wrong or have underlying goals that are reached only in part or not at
  all, but which it does not make sense to pursue further.

  unencumbered access to other people's intellectual property is one such
  _immature_ goal.  the same argument could be made for other property, yet
  isn't, because the glaring insanity of such requests cannot be ignored.

  the very first step on the way to convince anyone is to accept that they
  may be right, and you have to figure out how to talk to them in terms
  they can understand and relate to to make them change their ways.  people
  do whatever they do because it has worked better for them than the other
  stuff they have tried, but at some point, they gave up looking for better
  ways and were "satisfied".  your second step on the way to convince
  anyone of your own views is to make them _want_ to continue to look for a
  better way and _maybe_ that is your way.  if they don't want to continue
  to look for a better way, they should be ignored completely as a waste of
  space and human potential.  since the third and following steps are by
  now completely irrelevant to Francois-Rene Rideau, who has found the
  solution to all the world's problems, I'll save myself the effort of
  writing them down.  this has gotten long enough already.