Archive for the 'Capitalism' Category

Participatory Football

November 15, 2007

Ebbsfleet United Home StripOver at New Athenian I was thinking about the news that MyFootballClub‘s 50,000 members have each paid $70 (£35) to particpate in running Ebbsfleet United Football Club.

According to Forbes Manchester United is the most valuable football club in the world with 50 million fans
world wide. Man U had $310m (£155m) income in 2006. This equates to just $6.2/fan/annum (£3.1/fan/annum)… So on this metric participatory-democracy seems to be worth 10x passive-consumerism. Sounds about right to me.

To put this into perspective: If Ebbsfleet United can get one million fans to contribute £35 (-7.50 admin charge) they could just about afford to buy a player like Rio Ferdinand (who Man U bought from Leeds for £29m in 2002).


June 24, 2007

Michael Tiemann at the OSI has an interesting blog post on why open source should make good business sense. The last part is particularly interesting:

As for three “ideas” to avoid when building an open source business:

1) Believing that you need venture capital to start an open source business. In the same way that “Breast is Best” for rearing healthy babies, I believe that 95% of all venture capitalists will do more harm than good when it comes to investing in open source companies. I believe they will pick the wrong ideas, fund them for the wrong reasons, and then complain bitterly when their investments fail. Instead of trying to educate an industry that doesn’t understand open source (yet), look for ways to create your company organically. I would estimate that today there is 10x more money being knowingly wasted on poor proprietary solutions than is available for all software VC, and this suggests a remarkable opportunity to do well by customers who have already demonstrated a need and a willingness to pay. Convince them that you can staunch their losses with open source, and then spin out to success!

2) Per-incident support models.

3) The cynicism that making money in open source makes it proprietary. This is a toxic view for several reasons:

  • It leads one to justify creating proprietary software
  • It leads one to mingle, layer, hybridize, or otherwise infect open source with proprietary software
  • It confuses the fact that open source is a development model and making money is based on a value proposition. THERE IS NO VALUE IN BITS!