Re: Mind Bombs for Y2K

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From: Koen Holtman (
Date: Mon Aug 28 2000 - 12:11:31 PDT

On Mon, 28 Aug 2000, Mike Masnick wrote:

> At 10:44 PM 8/27/00 -0700, Dave Winer wrote:
> >I opened a discussion group on (InfoDepot is an outliner) and
> >so much whining you see there! These people are reallllly cheap, and at the
> >same time they bitch about the companies going under. I haven't told these
> >people that Radio UserLand is an outliner, because all they would do is
> >present me with infinitely detailed feature lists and then tell me if I do
> >all that, they'll pay me $19.95 and want free updates for life. Pardon me,
> >but what a bunch of cheapskates. Who would want to make software for them.
> >
> >Dude, the Cluetrain goes both ways. You want the software. Pay for it.
> See, arguments like these confuse me. Maybe I'm crazy, but I actually do
> believe in basic economics, and can see how most markets work. Here's a
> situation where the market has told you how much the software is worth, and
> you tell people they're being cheap. They're not. They're being efficient
> and telling you how much they're willing to pay for the software.
> If you don't want to produce the software for the price they're willing to
> pay, then fine, don't produce the software. But, to call your users cheap
> for telling you they won't pay more than they think it's worth seems a bit
> counter productive. If making money is that important to you then figure
> out a way to create offerings (products or services) that your users will
> pay the required price for. Blaming the customers for being cheap suggests
> that you personally believe you can set a more efficient price than the
> market.

I have no comment on outliners, but, um, you are a bit unclear on how
markets work.

A bunch of people wanting X for $Y does not make a market. You need both
supply and demand.

If they actually find somebody who _sells_ X to them for $Y, _then_
the market has ruled that $Y is a good price for X. If they can't find
somebody to sell for that price, then the market has determined that the
true value of X is larger than $Y.

[The case of X=music and Y=0 is left as an exercise for the reader]

> If that's true, I'm impressed, but I have a hard time believing it
> at this point...
> -Mike


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