The Old-Fashioned Business

September 16, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Posted in History, Patterns | Leave a comment
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A long time ago I heard that viacom was going to sue Google (YouTube) for copyright violations. Recently I read about it on web. I also read recently that Symantec has sued Microsoft over Vista. See here, here and here. Then a little googling told me its actually an international business idea. IBM sues PSI, Alcatel sues Microsoft, Google sues Microsoft, Microsoft sues Google. Then I thought of Halloween Documents where Microsoft said that to completely obliterate Open Source Software, they need to target Open Source Phenomenon rather than one or two companies. At least they have the talent to understand that.

Now that really does not make any sense. All companies like Microsoft, IBM, D-Link, Apple, HP and many other biggest Software players in the market all make money using Proprietary formats, they all are in the same business, they all use same weapon to make money, code-secrecy a.k.a software-patents and then they also sue each other over patent infringements. It really does not make much sense but If you look closely over the incidents you will see a pattern emerging out of your browser, telling you something. In World War 2, in the totalitarian government of Hitler, the power means secrecy. How the Enigma cipher worked. How Allies cracked this highly cryptographic machine. Hitler’s war tactics were completely sabotaged when Enigma code was cracked. A totalitarian government has one weapon and it uses it in parliament, in intelligence, in police, in administration, in business, in itself.. this weapon is called secrecy and when it gets broken, its very easy to take them down. This is what happened in Germany in World War 2 and this is what is happening in US right now. Unfortunately the software is working the way, the companies who have monopoly over some products (monopoly on software patent exactly works in totalitarian way) like Apple over iPod, Microsoft over Desktop, Google over web are using code-secrecy as their primary weapon. They all share one common thing, software-patent, dictatorship over the people who use their products on they gonna use them, exactly like how you gonna live if you are a Jew and its 1933 and you are currently in Germany. All of these proprietary software companies have only one weapon, that makes them stand under one umbrella, under one common cause: Code-Secrecy. Even after this they all fight with each other, spend billions of dollars in courts and in settlements out of courts every year. What does that mean ?

That means the owners and runners (and the managers who help those runners) of multi-billion corporate companies have vulnerabilities in their character which can be exploited very well by companies running business without secrecy, making money on Open Source software. I also very firmly believe that those weaknesses of characters can be written down in the form of a Reference Manual which every Open Source business company should read before they start to create their business strategy. Again, the question is not of the cry of a single giant like Microsoft, it is of a process called proprietary software which has gotten hit with Open Source[1]. If these companies want to not only stand but grow in the this highly competitive market then they need to come to one with each other. They need to aid and nurture and help each other otherwise Open Source will keep on hitting all of them every hour, every day, every month every year. Better, they adapt to new ways of doing software business, after all , to grow a business means to change and adapt and take the dollar in return of it 🙂 .

Open Source has put light on the fact that code-secrecy is the old-fashioned way, that market has changed now. The ones who will stand on the new and changed concepts of business are the ones who will be the forerunners of the future. No company, with enough self-respect, wants to be in the business for short-term. Every company desires to have the monopoly over the market. Those who understand the business and foresee the future become the ones nearly impossible to defeat. Take Google, their founders tried to sell their search engine and no one liked the idea. After 10 years, see where the Google is, Google has made so much money in 10 years that took Microsoft 25 years to collect. Business paradigms are getting shifted, ways of doing software business change as fast as a software decade passes. You decide where you want to stand, wither you are the one or not. There is no place for medium-profit lurkers in todays Software world. Either you are in or you are out. You decide. Before you refute my article make sure you read how Red Hat has started into Open Source business. How their founders learned that making money on proprietary software and making money on Open Source software are not very much different when it comes to business. The thing, which they never said, I think is, in Open Source, there is No Fear of losing the code, you have already learn how to manufacture dollars by sharing of code. Sharing of Code is the biggest nightmare of every proprietary software company and this is the tool that their competitors can exploit to maximum extent. This fear is open and free and code-secrecy is the Enigma that can be cracked by some penniless but an individual with a sense for business. you only need courage and logic of business in doing so. Good Luck 🙂

[1] Its not like that companies whose business is based on code-secrecy will go out of business. They will remain here for a much longer time. My point is over a decade from now, they will no longer be the kings, though they will be cutting millions every year.



Copyright © 2008, Arnuld Uttre, #331/type-2/sector-1, Naya Nangal, Distt. – Ropar, Punjab (INDIA) – 140126

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide, without royalty, in any medium, provided this notice, and the copyright notice, are preserved.


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