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[DotGNU]GNU business 101

From: Timothy Rue
Subject: [DotGNU]GNU business 101
Date: 15 Jul 2002 7:31:50 -0500

two people had received a cc of this, the list is down, so I'm reposting
it and it does have a little addition on the tail end.

I might also add that I'm not impressed about the site and list being
down. I wasn't around to see what all the infighting was all about, but
that too is not something to be impressed by. But I also suspect that
there is something missing that would help people keep focused on the
common target and motivate to solve problems. Perhaps the following can
shead some light on what is missing.

On 13-Jul-02 10:33:03 Peter Minten <address@hidden> wrote:
 PM> Peter Minten wrote:
>> I don't know about the requirments in other parts of the world for
>> setting  up a corporate body (to give the owners legal protection)
>> but here in  the Netherlands you need a 2 or more persons to set up
>> the stuff and  I  believe there were some other requirments.
>> Wouldn't it be best to provide a DotGNU corporation for this stuff
>> (the folks needing  legal protection would probably qualify as
>> employees anyway) since some of  us might not be able to start a
>> corporation? I know bizplan died, but with  FreeDevelopers going
>> down it could be useful to give the concept another  try.

 PM> I've been doing a little bit of thinking how a DotGNU corporation
 PM> could work, though these are these are probably very naive.

 PM> The idea is that we have a stock based corporation in which the
 PM> FSF owns 51%  of the stocks. The company is lead democratically
 PM> by a steering comittee  elected from the developers, this SC
 PM> decides on issues using 'most votes  win'. There is no one person
 PM> in charge and the SC can always be recalled by  the FSF, either
 PM> because the FSF itself doesn't believe in the SC anymore or
 PM> because of a significant number of developers not supporting the
 PM> SC anymore.  The important thing here is that the ultimate power
 PM> (the FSF) has proven to  be trustable.

 PM> When the company starts making profit a general reserve is filled
 PM> and the  shareholders get dividend. When the reserve is filled
 PM> the profit is split  between shareholders and employees.

 PM> As for the local laws issue, the company will fall under the laws
 PM> of the  country it is in so the local laws of everybodies
 PM> countries wont be a big  problem anymore. Of course we would need
 PM> to pick the right country, the USA  and the EU countries will
 PM> probably turn into a patent minefield in the near  future so
 PM> these wont be very good options.

 PM> Well, that were my 2c on this matter.

 PM> Greetings,

 PM> Peter

I've done my best to present messages on this list that are informative
and hopefully inspiring and influencial in the direction of dotgnu, and
gnu in general.

I personally do not think "web-services" will be enough to accomplish the
kind of income I know you and many GNU developers want to reach.

In communicating my direction on software autocoding (automation tools in
general) I have twice been refered to those involved in the .net direct
with the comment of such nature suggesting that I may be ahead of otehrs,
including MS in my vision and understanding. Once I was refered to MS
people (but I'm seriously not interested in dealing with criminals) and
the second time I was refered to the efforts of dotgnu. And it's why I'm

A business model needs to be consistant with the GPL, in the same spirit.

There is a business model that can work, at least as a starting point for
designing a custom, fit like a glove business plan for GPL and even open
source. But here it should be a focus with GPL consistancy.

But there are a few things GNU people need to understand. First is that
the idea of stocks is not in the picture. There should be plenty enough
information right now as to why the concept of stock is to abstract and
as such to manipulatable. Enron, Worldcom, Trillion dollar bet, etc.
Stocks are not a good idea except for those who play the manipulations
and that is not consistant with the GPL spirit. It is in fact gambling and
who needs gambling when you can build a business for and by the people who
simply make it successful by choice?  There is something better to invest
in, and that's people, for it's people who make things work, not stocks
that can be manipulated to take value away from those who have earned it.

The next thing you need to understand is the importance of making
development easy enough that allows the typical end user to do some degree
of development for themselves. This has multi-faceted importance and is
integrated into, and key to, making the business plan/model work and work
real well.

The sale of GPL software is not a certainty, but rather something to
consider more along the lines of bonus, if and when it happens. But what
is a more certain generation of income is that of training and support.

So what does it take, how many stages are the to taking a computer
illiterate and training them to all the way thru to a level of creating
software themselves?

There are any number of things to do in creating GPL software, from
design, creation, documentation, debugging, etc. but that's just on the
general development side. The other side is of educating users to be
skilled enough to not only build a system and install GNU custom to fit
the hardware but as well correctly training them to teach others to do the
same. Then there is the feedback loop from these users to the developer
mode where there should be incentive to not only provide higher quality
feedback but reason to impliment any and all reasonable suggestion that
help to make things easier for all involved.

It important that those who want to, can learn to use automation tools so
to make custom software for their own use, be it personal or for a
company, industry and field for which they work in.

So there really is a pretty wide range of development, training and
support issues that put into action and will generate an overall higher
level of intelligence, use and improvements of computers.

Now for the part you are interested in, money. How does one come to be
working fulltime, earning "good money" and generate worthwhile and very
comfortable retirement income?

It's about people, believing in them, helping them and realizing they can
help themselves and others to earn income in doing the things that help to
spread GPL software usage and it's proper use and better focused
development direction and integration into all the industries and fields
such people work in.

It needs to be at least a monthly generation of cash flow, but not a cash
flow that only goes one way, but one that gets returned to those doing
the things that helps move forward, GPL improved usage and developement,
and regardless of whether it's developers or users doing such. You do
things that actually improve expansion of GPL software development and
wider and better usage then you get a return. Where does the money come
from? Everyone actively and willingly participating and not a large
monthly amount.

Now here is where if you jump to a conclusion, you will probably miss the
point. So up front, a custom model does not exist and what you are about
to read is only real life examples regarding products and services of a
different nature than what Software and training are. As such what you are
about to read is to be taken as real life business models to look at and
consider in the development of a GPL custom glove model. And you also
need to know that generally speaking, it's more an evolution of one
business model than it is of different static models.

I cannot go into specific of how a custom model would actually work for
it's clear that there is a need for some research, a collection of
information, etc. in order to determine the details in an honest and fair
to all, manner, regardless of where they live.

Again, business models to look into and consider for the development of a
GPL software based business.

Everyone has probably heard of Amway, Multi-Level Marketing and maybe,
just maybe, you have heard of what has evolved from this in the form of
Consumer direct marketing. Amway was challenged by the government and won,
and then a Company named Melaleuca went on to develop Consumer Direct
Marketing and gained quite a few honors, including Inc. 500 fastest
growing companies 5 years in a row until the sixth year where they outgrew
the list qualification. Blue Chip award and Entrepreneur of the year
award, Inc. 500 Hall of Fame 2001, etc.. It may also be worth noting that
the president/CEO used to work in the computer industry. and and follow the guest link to the "About US"
and read on.

What is interesting, is how the structure is fitting or the GNU/GPL is
creating a distributed authority of independant associations that have
reason to work together and help each other to produce not only the best
of a product in software but training and support as well. And the
democratic process of voting on directions in product developments can be
incorporated rather easy so that the products really are for the people
and by the people (see past posts refering to pubsoft and expanding on
that with a project/task match up.)

I think that's enough for now.

I really do believe in rewarding people for the good and productive things
they do, and to do so without bias of being from a consumer or a producer
position, for they are both part of the same cycle all of us are in.

Timothy Rue
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