When Elephants Dance

Mark Day markday@cisco.com
Mon, 1 Apr 2002 21:53:03 -0500

>     E> ...  Most software companies seem to be trying to position
>     E> themselves to make money from service and support rather than
>     E> sales.  This is true both in the open source and proprietary
>     E> software models.

> Isn't it true that the computer games industry both has solved the
> problem of unit sales with little or no services or support, and has
> also completely solved the issue of copy protection?  Isn't it also
> true that, among the entire IT industry, the games industry continues
> to be the profit leader?

In my experience, both product companies and service companies can be
profitable. But in both kinds of companies, people who aren't very good at
what they should be doing imagine that their problems would go away if they
could just become the other kind.

Some people in product companies dream of lying on the beach while monthly
service fees roll in, "if only" they were a service company.

Some people in service companies dream of lying on the beach while millions
of identical copies of a product are packaged and sold, without needing to
be customized and tweaked, "if only" they were a product company.

The reality, of course, is that only the management consultants who sell
these dreams to the hapless victims get to spend any time on the beach.