[kde] Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: WSJ Strikeout and TypeHeads [LONG]

rbe rbe at flash.net
Fri Apr 11 18:13:39 BST 2003

On Friday 11 April 2003 2:57 am, Neil Stevens wrote:
> On Friday April 11, 2003 12:32, Andreas Pour wrote:
> > Neil Stevens wrote:
> >
> > [ ... ]
> >
> > > > 1.) Boss reads about new product / technology and then asks the
> > > > middle management to report if they are already doing an
> > > > evaluation.
> > >
> > > Like I said, any company where the boss constantly has his people
> > > jumping from one fad to the next isn't going to do KDE much good.

This assumes KDE is a fad.  Businesses rarely "jump" to anything -- 
it's financially dangerous.

> > > > 2.) middle management wants tointroduce a technology and when
> > > > they present their ideas to the boss it helps them a _lot_ if
> > > > the boss can say: "Yeah I already know,... some hot stuff.....
> > > > go for it...)
> > >
> > > This is true, but does require us to have already convinced the
> > > technical managers.  Swaying the "lazy journalists" gets us
> > > nowhere on that front.

It does get us somewhere as it serves, like all such publication, to 
make KDE known to people who have not known about it before or who have 
noticed it but not thought much about it.  The more favorable publicity 
the better.

> Will you please explain to me how KDE benefits from some fickle
> company deciding to install KDE when all its technical people are
> ignorant of or even hostile to KDE?

Well, I don't know about fickle companies, but I do know about 
profitable ones.  When they install linux and KDE, a goodly number of 
employees will eventually do the same.  And I know of very *very* few 
cases where KDE was adopted when "all" the techies know nothing about 
it.  In most "fickle" companies, if the boss wants something, s/he will 
ask the techies to look closely at it to see if it will do at least as 
well as currently used technology for the tasks the company needs.

If it does, the lower ("free of financial cost") consideration may be 
important (1) if the training can be done at lower internal cost than 
upgrading existing software and (2) some people internally can be 
turned into short-term trainers.  If either (1) or (2) is not met, the 
decision is likely to be against the new technology as the short term 
costs are too high, even if the long term costs are lower.

Translation: the short-term costs should not damage the company's 
profitability and the long-term costs should be net positive.

> Do you really think we're going to get useful contributions from such
> a place?

>From some users, yes.  From most (just as today), no.

> We're not Microsoft.  We don't gain *anything* because some company
> decides to use KDE.  Market share wins us nothing.  Only active
> volunteers keep this development effort alive.  Microsoft does well
> with gaining users because those users send money, which is what
> keeps the company going. With KDE, though, anything that doesn't get
> work done doesn't help.

How do "we" win?  We win when we have done such a good job that people 
see us as a solid threat to MS or the MacOS.  We win when we have a 
sense of pride in what we've done.  We win when we walk into an office 
or home and see KDE on the desktop.  If we pretend that personal pride 
and satisfaction are not payment for good work well done, then charity 
makes no sense.  We are not a tiny group patting ourselves on our backs 
at what a good job we've done and happily pretending we don't want 
others to notice.  And others' notice is found in market share and 
total number of users.  To me, that's winning.

A group of gamers might find satisfaction in developing an ever better 
game and not really wanting or caring if others use their game, but 
most KDE users are not gamers when working on or with KDE.

> I'm repeating myself, but it obviously bears repeating: KDE is not a
> business.  Choose your PR efforts accordingly.

It is not a business, but, as many economists who have taken at least a 
year of economics like to point out, "satisfaction" IS payment.  
Otherwise human economic behavior cannot be explained.  If I do 
something and feel good that I've contributed to it, that may be 
sufficient for me -- which is the whole reason for the open source 
movement.  An increase in market share increases my satisfaction 
because it tells me my efforts are appreciated by an ever-growing group 
of people.  Thus market share DOES have meaning in developing KDE.

It's simple economics (which, if you have more than a layman's 
knowledge of economics, does not involve money at all except as a 
medium of exchange -- one of many incentives for economic behavior).

Robert Black Eagle
May the Gods grant us peace, and
If not peace, victory.
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