[thelist] RE: Template Monster [WAS: A Beginner Freelance Question]

Greg Holmes greg.holmes at gmail.com
Sun Jul 25 20:57:10 CDT 2004

Ken Schaefer wrote:

>d) I don't think Open Source is going to help you maintain your margins.
>Open Source benefits the end consumer - they get their product (their DVD
>players, their cars, their groceries) for less, since it reduces the
>barriers to competition in the supply chain.

Slick, slipping this into the rest of your rant ;)

>Why get you to develop a bulletin board, when they can get one for free?
>Or a shopping cart? Why get you to develop a DBMS when they can get one
for free?

Those are not, of course, the choices.  Free (and often superior) bulletin
boards and shopping carts have been around for years.  What really happens
is: the customer asks for a bulletin board, or a shopping cart, and you
can then use either closed or open source as part of the solution.  A small
business owner (for example) is not going to install and set up Slashcode
;)  He's going to ask you for a bulletin board, and you decide what to use.

>Well, there's customisation, but every other developer can do that to.

In theory, perhaps.  But the coffee shop owner down the street is not
going to hire some guy in China to set up his website (not anytime soon,

>The *end consumer* gets the benefits of Open Source (which I think is
>a good thing - it makes us all a bit better off),

Hmm; a fascinating departure from your usual tack ;)  I'd love to 
explore this ...

>but I think FOSS is going to make life /less/ lucrative for the average

Er, how?  It reduces my costs if I use open source software for a given
purpose instead of closed source (yes, obviously, if there is an
appropriate open source solution available for that given purpose).

>As you allude - it makes it easier for you to get into areas that you
>otherwise wouldn't be able to handle, but it makes it easier for everyone
>else to (the same way HTML being so easy makes it easier for lots of
>people to get into the business, and depress prices).

I hardly see how open source changes the equation.  You think that the
developers in low wage countries are *buying* closed source software,
for more than the cost of the CDRW?  The cost of closed source wasn't
a barrier to entry (for them) anyway.

Nor would I see your point even if it did change the equation - what
do you suggest, buying closed source and then wishing really hard that
developers in low wage countries would too?  Open source is here and it
isn't going away.  Those who use it wisely get a competitive advantage.
You suggest that we in high wage countries forgo that advantage (or at
least equalizer)?

Greg Holmes

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