Open Source Briefing - Report & THANKS

James McNeill james at
Mon Dec 23 09:52:51 EST 2002

| > has trouble understanding any other approach to life.  Their primary
| > every working day, is "How do I make a profit on my work today?" and
| > can I do to enhance my (company's) profitability?"

There's no such thing as a free lunch. This is the first rule of running a
business. Every time I've plugged Linux to a small business owner, they
immediatly get scared by the idea of something that is free and superior. I
sometimes think I'd have more luck if I told them "Linux is superior to MS
products, and costs $40 less".

Business men are trained to be suspicious of free things because usually,
when someone makes something and gives it away for free, they are making a
*loss*, so there must be strings attached, if only to prevent the giver in
question from going bankrupt. Software is very different, because it doesn't
cost anything to make it bar time & knowledge, and once it has been made it
costs nothing to make copies of it.

if I make something for my own purposes (just as Linus T. did), it doesn't
hurt me in any way if someone else uses it, so why not let them?

People don't understand this at this point, because software is 'just
another expendature' along with hardware (which will never be free), human
resourses etc. but in reality there is a very big practical difference.

my 2c


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