Re: "Bill makes all the important decisions here."

Seth Golub (
Tue, 20 Jan 1998 15:23:03 -0800 writes:

> I was thinking of the cost of paying the tech support staff. If
> someone calls in with a tech support question, then suddenly one
> less tech support person is available to help someone else - making
> this a depletable and excludable resource, which can be charged for.

How is this different from a web server? Each has a maximum number of
simultaneous connections and ignores requests until a server is
available. If you want to be able to handle more simultaneous
transactions, you hire/buy more technicians/servers. HTTP
transactions typically don't take very long compared to service calls,
each server can handle more than one at a time, and the servers are
much cheaper than people, but it still seems like the same sort of

> Example (sorta): Linux is free, right? However, plenty of people
> will go out and buy a big book for documentation and a CD-ROM copy
> to make installation easier. Linux, the software, is really being
> given out free. The book and the CD-ROM are the depletable,
> excludable goods that are being sold since they add value to the
> non-depletable, non-excludable software.

That's a pretty goofy example. You could also argue that automobile
companies are spending billions (by selling cars) on advertising for
beaded seat cushions.

While the existence of Linux makes a Linux book far more attractive to
consumers, it's not advertising. Putting "Buy a book" in the Linux
docs would be advertising.

They're both examples of creating a market (deliberately or not), but
I think advertising is a narrower category.

Does the sun advertise for Levalor, or does it increase the demand for
their product through methods other than advertising? I claim the