RE: Into the Belly of the Beast (ESR at MS)

Koen Holtman (
Mon, 5 Jul 1999 17:13:59 +0200 (MET DST)

On Mon, 5 Jul 1999, Robert S. Thau wrote:

> Koen Holtman writes:
> > Me too. After reading ESR's latest paper I am actually less convinced
> > than before that business models and free sofware development have
> > anything to do with each other.
> Which was actually one of the main points of the paper... most
> software (he claims) is written by companies that don't think of
> themselves as being in "the software business" at all,

Yes, the point about the 95%(?) of all software being written to
support some value-generating process, not to sell the software
directly. I would agree to that part. Certainly the software I am
being payed to write is not intended for sale, and you can actually
download much of it for free. Not that I have ever gotten the
benefits of a bazaar style review, mind you. The stuff I write is for
niche applications and people with the same problem are not standing
in line. Reading the Cauldron paper I got the feeling that ESR is
overestimating the probability of software developers benefiting from
a bazaar style review, if only they would open their source.

If you look at the actual business models that ESR outlines in the
paper, these are all models which involve bazaar style software

So let me rephrase: I don't believe that bazaar style software
development, which is a great idea, is likely to grow a lot through
the process of people starting new companies (or company divisions),
with a business model based on getting revenue directly from their
activities in the bazaar style process.

> rst