FW: [IP] Dan Gillmor on Technology: Monday October 21,2002: Software idea may be just crazy enough to work

Luis Villa louie@ximian.com
11 Mar 2003 14:54:45 -0500


On Tue, 2003-03-11 at 09:20, Russell Turpin wrote:
> >Mitch Kapor smiles at the half-serious question: ``Are you crazy to try 
> >something like this?''
> 
> In this case, I take that question a bit personally.
> Back in the mid-90s, I had the idea that a PIM
> really needed more flexibility and semantics. I
> worked out the logic for PIM software that would
> handle everything from a history student taking
> notes on the Tudors to an IMS measurer keeping track
> of boats. The logic was strong enough to permit
> arbitrary relationships, convert dimensions, and
> support some basic inference, but weak enough to be
> tractable. I developed some small prototypes.
> 
> And then decided there wasn't really a market for
> this kind of application. I had some thought that
> this wasn't really PIM as much as it was something
> for students and researchers, but there it fails
> by being too generic. I'm still not sure there
> is a niche. For true PIM, what Palm provides
> really is the 10% that does 90% of what you need.
> For other areas, people will want domain specific
> features.
> 
> I would love to work on the project that Kapor has
> in mind. If I thought there was any money in it.

As usual, there is no money in anything where you are competing with
established Microsoft techs unless you have a completely different value
proposition that they can't match or clone[1], /yet/ interoperates or
smoothly upgrades from their stuff. PIM (client and serverside) is
definitely one of those areas.

Luis

[1] given roughly infinite amounts of resources, mind you.