Joined: Feb 12, 2005 Posts: 607 Location: Australia
Posted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:37 am Post subject: Cars
Tongue-in-cheek, let's continue the cars analogy :
Imagine you are an auto dealer. Your model is reliable, quite powerful, safe and roomy. It does OK mileage. Acceleration is sedate, until it gets warmed up. Alright, it looks like a Nissan Cedric [apologies to Nissan Cedric buffs], and comes in one colour. It is a three-speed manual and the seats stay upright. Inside, everything works. Joins are not quite right. The speedo is square, the rev counter is round. But it works. And it uses the same roads as other cars.
Then a new model appears. It has been designed by an international styling house, and comes in all-new colours. Acceleration is still unknown. The old reliability is still there, and it's even more powerful. Inside, it's bright and modern, everything seems to fit together well, and there are various options to customise, including interchangeable panels. It is an auto multi-speed. The seats fold in various directions.
1. Write a letter of complaint to the makers that the old model was not better? or
2. Refuse to stock the new model because it's too fancy? or
3. Celebrate, and look forward to seeing a lot more of "your" cars on the road?
Of course, the analogy breaks down at a number of points including purchase. Imagine if you gave away your cars, and had to rely on donations to support their manufacture? [Actually, that sounds like a number of public hospital and education systems I can think of, but that's another story...]
Written from within a Firefox browser. [Now is Firefox a Z8 or a Corvette? I have no idea ]
You guys seem to be getting bogged down. I have a suggestion that I expect is 1)simple 2)reduces plubys workload 3)will generate enough $ to support him 4)fits with open source principles
CHARGE $0.99 FOR EVERY NEW BINARY
Think about it. You have 1.8 million downloads each year. Those who don't want to compile (like me) will gladly pay $1 to avoid the chore. The rest can download the source for free. So what if half pay the $1 and the other half get the source for free or decide not to download it. You still end up with nearly a million bucks a year. And you get rid of the leeches who take advantage of all the work you put into each binary release. I think this small charge is fair compensation for helping so many people. Note that patches would still be free. This also addresses your objections about charging for someone else's work. Because in this model you are charging for the effort it takes to compile and distribute software that runs on everybody's Mac. If you lose a few mirrors, that would be an inconvenience but acceptable, I think. Consider the marketing line. "A Macintosh native office suite for the price of a song." Literally the price of a song from the iTunes store. Nobody will begrudge you that.
Joined: Jun 16, 2003 Posts: 11156 Location: California, USA
Posted: Sat May 06, 2006 7:56 am Post subject:
Two reasons why I didn't do that:
1. My cash costs would increase significantly as I would have to fund all of 30 to 40 terabytes of existing bandwidth per month instead of using free University mirrors. Bandwidth like this is not cheap.
2. More importantly, that business model falls apart as soon as someone buys or builds NeoOffice and then decides to push it out to many of the available mirror networks.
It seems you found a significant flaw in my proposal.
Oh well. OTOH, you could sell maintenance agreements whereby the purchasers would have their bugs elevated in priority. This is the kind of thing that could encourage businesses to adopt the software. They would feel like their concerns are really being addressed rather than being left to an unknown procedure where their complaints are on the same level as those submitted by users who don't contribute.
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