neat story

MJ Ray markj at
Wed Mar 20 10:19:06 UTC 2002

Rui Miguel Silva Seabra <rms at> wrote:
> That's clearly a view from the proprietary side: if they can copy and
> use without paying us, how can we earn money with the software?

I was discussing this at length with some former colleagues last night.  We
found two possible ways for programmers to make money from programming:

  1. Sell your programming time
  2. Sell scarce software

Of course, once created, software is no longer scarce, so you either have to
write software like nothing that existed before (this looks to be where MS
started from in the "Open Letter to Hobbyists") or try to keep other people
from reproducing it (which is what most people do now).  The challenge
facing free software companies (like ours) is to move users of software that
currently uses solution 2 to solution 1.  It is a different model, isn't it?

Actually, we found a third way, which was to cull programmers to make the
surviving ones valuable commodities whose services you wanted to retain just
in case, but that was getting late...
MJR ,----------------------------------------------------
    | Q. Do you need a net-based application developing, 
    |    or advice and training about web technology?
    | A. I suggest you try

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