Subject: Re: [open-source] Sun to start charging for Star Office
To: netbsd-users <>
From: Charles Shannon Hendrix <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 03/27/2002 00:12:51
On Tue, Mar 26, 2002 at 01:07:33PM -0500, Stephane St Hilaire wrote:

> Just being curious, but what real advances would you rather time was spent
> on ?

You mean you can't think of anything better than that?

How about look around and you'll have a list of decent projects that
get little or no resources in short order.

There is no programmer shortage in the US or anywhere else, there are
just countless thousands of them being wasted patching holes and putting
out fires, and that's when they are writing yet another program that we
don't really need.

I really wish we *did* have a shortage, because that would mean we were
actually working on the right things.

> True, but the goal of any company in a capitalist system is to grow and keep
> on growing (if this is cynical than call me a cynic), which by definition
> means that ultimately it wants to become a monopoly (the name of the game).
> Now the fact that winning in the game of capitalism means that the
> government is going to break you up (one nice reward for a job well done)
> kind of makes you wonder about the validity of the game in the first place.

That's not at all a definition of capitalism.

Growth is just about the most misused term in business, and one of the
worst targets you can set for a business.

Let me tell you something that will blow the mind of (what appears to
be nearly) every business geek you meet: a company does not need to grow
to survive and be in the game.

One more: a company's stock price does not (have to) mean anything about
the health of the company.

Oh, oh, one more: it is a BadIdea(TM) to turn products into services.

Business exists to serve customers and provide jobs, and that's it.
It has no "right" to exist, to grow, to make stockholders happy, or
to survive.  The moment it serves no consumer need, it has lost it's
true value.  Capitalism is based on ideas of funding and freedom that
do not include stomping the shit out of everyone in sight, or trying to
preserve yourself in a world that doesn't need you.  Corporations are
not people, no matter how much effort is spent trying to present them
like that these days.

A $1 investment in cooperation is worth millions in corporate warfare,
and in the long run better for everyone from consumers to stockholders.

Some of the most successful companies are strictly long-term investments,
have never had soaring stock, and may have even experience an overall
negative growth over a period of decades.

Likewise there are stock and growth superstars that are paper dragons,
destined to burn up no matter how much Wall Street tries to sell them.