The Simple Economics of Open Source

Kragen Sitaker kragen at
Sun Apr 23 01:33:47 EDT 2000

In article <B527E7A5.51AA%raffael at>,
Raffael Cavallaro  <raffael at> wrote:
>Sarcasm aside, I think you miss the point. Those artists least willing to
>share, most jealous of their "secrets" have always been those who were most
>successful. Unsucessful young artists are, by and large, quite willing to
>share ideas, working techniques, etc. It's actually the more established,
>financially succesful ones, who are not.
>I see a parallael to the software industry here as well. Those with a
>lucrative cash cow (e.g., MS) are reluctant to share code, but those who
>just make a living programming are happy to share source. It would seem that
>sharing is inversely proportional to the value of that which is shared.

Those spenders most willing to spend profligately have always been
those who had the most money.  Unsuccessful young spenders are, by and
large, unwilling to spend money on luxuries like expensive cars, large
houses, etc.  It's actually the more established, financially
successful ones who do.

Those with a lucrative trust fund (e.g. Bill Gates) are happy to spend
lots of money on nonessential things, but those who just make a living
flipping burgers at McDonald's are reluctant to do so.  It would seem
that spending is directly proportional to the value of that which is to
be spent.

Correlation doesn't imply causality, and when it does, it's easy to get
causality backwards if you're not careful.  You could get misled into
spending lots of money to get rich if you just look at the
<kragen at>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!
The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either.  :)

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