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Where Are All the Open Source Billionaires?

Seth Gordon wrote:
> David Kramer wrote:
>> If Open Source software is free, then why bother spending money on 
>> Microsoft Partner stuff? I already know what Microsoft's detractors
>> will say: "There's no reason whatsoever. $40 billion per year is
>> totally wasted."
>> "This, however is not a very satisfying answer, simply because it 
>> doesn't quite ring true. Otherwise there'd be a lot more famous
>> Open Source billionaires out there, being written up in Forbes
>> Magazine or wherever. And Bill Gates would've been ousted years
>> ago. "

To be clear, when I send something like this to the list, I do so
because it is interesting and on-topic.  I don't necessarily agree with
it, in part or in whole.  That's how I roll.

> Giles Bowkett said it better than I could:
> Jeff's post is a good post, and he provides a much calmer and nicer 
> answer than I'm about to, but I don't have his vast reserves of 
> patience. That is the _stupidest question_ in the *world*. Where are
> all the _air_ billionaires? Where are all the _gravity_ billionaires?
> What about the _light_ billionaires? Huh? Huh? Where are they? Tell
> me! If light is so damn useful, why hasn't anyone been able to
> _license the sun?_ *It must not be worth anything!*
> Wow. Good point there, Einstein.

  Giles's paragraph above is a little silly if you ask me.  He also has 
at least one major flaw in the rest of his article.  He makes it sound 
like all companies should just rely on open source software, and 
everyone saves a lot of money and everyone wins.  What he's forgetting 
is that writers of open source software write software for free that 
*they* want to work on.  Software that's interesting to them, and on 
their schedule.

Since there are so many OSS developers out there, maybe you can find 
someone to work on your program, maybe you won't.  Maybe they'll start, 
then leave when a new shiny thing comes along, and since you're not 
paying them, you can't do anything about it.

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