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Re: Deriving economic profits from writing FREE software?

At 10:27 PM -0800 1/18/98, Bill Stewart wrote:
>At 10:11 PM 1/16/98 -0600, Igor wrote:
>>However, aside from the psychic benefits, I would like to somehow derive
>>an economic profit from being a freeware author. So far, I feel that the
>>status of the author of a popular package does sound good on a resume, but
>>it is as far as I could get.
>>Does anyone else feel the same way? Has anybody come up with a way to
>>cash in on the free programs that he writes?
>There's the standard shareware model - ask for $25.
>There's the Cygnus model - charge money for support.
>There's the Netscape/McAfee/etc. model - free for personal use,
>	charge money to companies that use it.
>There's the Eudora model - basic version free, bells&whistles extra.
>There's the advertising-banner model - the software/service is free,
>	but usage hits an advertising banner in some way that
>	filters money back to you.
>There are probably a lot more ways to do it as well, but it's a start.

Ah, but these are all chump change models.

How about:

There's the Mosaic model--develop a product with university funds, watch it
catch on, and then help found a company and make a quick $20 million or

(A model also loosely paralleled in the founding of Cisco and Sun.)

And, quite seriously, the most important thing "shareware" does is to
establish one's credibility as a programmer. Many of the Mac shareware
programmers made almost nothing off of the paltry donations, but the
elegance of their products led to job opportunities and, even better,
startup opportunities.

(Lloyd Chambers, at PGP, Inc., for example, if I haven't confused him with
someone else.)

--Tim May

The Feds have shown their hand: they want a ban on domestic cryptography
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
ComSec 3DES:   408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^2,976,221   | black markets, collapse of governments.
"National borders aren't even speed bumps on the information superhighway."