phil hunt philh at comuno.freeserve.co.uk
Tue Mar 19 12:05:54 UTC 2002

On Monday 18 March 2002 11:49 pm, John Tapsell wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> > > Being a uni student, I'm obviously very
> > > pleased and excited, but if I did this I would have to make it
> > > closed source,
> >
> > Have the VCs explicitly said that?
> They said that in business you need to find a way to protect your goods
> by 'black box'ing it.
> > > and indeed actively protect it.
> >
> > What if you made it time-delayed open source, like Ghostscript? Would
> > they go for that?
> I got mixed reactions about this - they said companies tend to look at a
> period of 1.5 years - so even if I told the companies I was going to
> open source it in 2 years time, they wouldn't care and it wouldn't
> affect their plans to buy it.

If people will still buy it despite it being open sourced down the road,
then that's an argument in *favour* of time-delayed open source, surely...

> Also my exit strategy is 3 years - I couldn't OS it before then - in the
> third year I'd be paying back close to several thousand pound a month in
> loans, so I daren't do anything to upset the cash flow during that time
> ;)

...except that 3 years later you won't have that product to sell; perhaps you'd
be able to seel an updated, improved version -- or that might not be possible 
for your product.

> But after that it would be fine.  But then who knows where we'll be in 3
> years...

Perhaps you could have it in oyur contract of sale that the product becomes
open source when either thew company ceases trading, or ceases to actively
update the product.

<"><"><"> Philip Hunt <philh at comuno.freeserve.co.uk> <"><"><">
"I would guess that he really believes whatever is politically 
advantageous for him to believe." 
                        -- Alison Brooks, referring to Michael
                              Portillo, on soc.history.what-if

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