Cuecat as a public good

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From: Jim Whitehead (
Date: Tue Oct 03 2000 - 14:39:45 PDT

It seems to me that, through bypassing the mechanism by which Digital
Convergence can make money off of the CueCat, the hacker community is
implicitly endorsing the notion that the CueCat is a public good (ignoring
the fact that some "poor" VCs are going to lose money on this).

It raises the issue of whether other computer hardware peripherals also
should be public goods. That is, should there be a publically financed
organization whose mission is to develop and initially give away things like
the mouse scroll wheel, the CueCat, etc. It seems to me that CueCat
demonstrates that giving away a valuable hardware device can lead to much
faster adoption, and the creation of secondary marketplaces. By
accelerating progress, and increasing business opportunities, the public
receives a benefit, in addition to the free device.

- Jim

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