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Re: Question

On Tuesday 27 December 2005 06:05 am, Katipo wrote:

> >Partner.  Ahh.  Just like the ol' repeated Slashdot comment:
> >
> >1. Get an idea
> >2. ?????
> >3. Profit!
> >
> >Except you've just switched step 2 with having a partner that will finance
> >you.
> >
> >It doesn't work that easily.  It'd be nice, but it's not the kind of
> > comment I'd expect to hear from someone with experience.
> Really?

If it were that easy, the failure rate for new businesses would not be close 
to 95% within the first year.

> >Common law copyright is a neat idea, but it is about as useful as someone
> > who has written a patent and makes $75,000 a year realizing he has a law
> > suit against Microsoft, who can basically afford to drag it out and
> > bankrupt him and his lawyers long before he ever gets a judgement in
> > court.  While the person just might get lucky, the reality of the
> > situation is that he'll go broke before ever getting a chance to make
> > some money.
> That's not what the problem is.
> It's when Microsoft declare a patent on something you own.
> That's when their money makes the difference.
> This is where the fiscal imbalance proves unethical, within the context
> of dragged out court cases.

I notice you dropped the point that this is ONLY an analogy.  However, and 
this is not intended as offensive or an attack, when I realize that, at the 
end of this letter, you are a promoter, it makes sense.  It is not your job 
to deal with logic in arguments, but to deal with perceptions and reactions.  
Rather than focus on a negative point, focus on the one you can break down 
and use it to turn a possible negative into a positive.

> >>> Poe got $100 for The Raven, but it became popular.  While
> >>>he did sign away the rights (he needed the money),
> Of course he did, he was a drunk.

In short: not likely, there is a LOT more to it than that (I know, a former 
teacher is on the board at the Poe Museum here in Richmond, where Poe grew 
up, and I've talked to him and the Museum Director about topics like this in 
researching a script I've written about Poe -- and one I hope to produce 
within the next few years).  Basically, that is not the case, and saying so 
perpetuates slander that started when someone with a grudge against Poe 
managed to grab the chance to write his obituary.  I mention this to point 
out you're using an ad hominem attack to deal with one topic other than the 
point that was made and that you're waving that flag of distraction on a 
topic you are not too familiar with.
> >>> Some
> >>>are honest, many are not.
> >>
> >>Yep, you've got to be street smart to survive.
> >
> >Street smart != dishonest
> No, it doesn't.
> Some of the most honest people I've known have been in the street.
> Sometimes, that's the reason they're there.
> Let's substitute, 'you've got to know the territory'.

That still dodges the point.

> >>That's why you get a financial partner.
> >
> >Oh, that easy, is it?  Just go out and *poof* there is someone who will
> > give you the money to do it all.
> No, I didn't say that.
> A little artistic licence, there.

The point is that you use one sentence as a fix-all.  "That's why you get a 
financial partner."  More often that not, it is simply not possible, which 
was a major part of my point.  Many people cannot get all this done in a few 
years because it takes longer than that to amass the resources.

> >Once again, if you have resources or a track record, it can be easy, but
> > in this day and age, it is not easy.  I've talked to loan managers at
> > banks about financing
> Waste of time.

That's my point.  And this is one of the few avenues open for most people

> >-- and I don't mean just as an applicant.  One point that
> >came up over and over is that small business are no longer started with
> >loans.
> Of course not.
> Very volatile market.
> 50% of small business fails in its first year.
> 50% of the remainder fails in the second year.
> More after that.

Actually, it's closer to 90% in the first year when I checked within the past 
2 years.  However, noting (below) that you are in Australia and I'm in the 
US, that could explain the difference in figures.  My source is from the 
Small Business Administration (which is full of nice people who know a lot of 
things, but totally useless if you need *real* help in starting a business in 

And even if you use your figures, that still supports my point that most 
people need more time to amass the resources and can't just get something 
going in a few years.  Which is my major point.  As a promoter, you might 
have the resources to build up something quickly, but you are a minority in 
this respect.

> >>>>After that amount of time, if he's not far enough ahead of the rest of
> >>>>the market, that's business.
> >>>
> >>>That may work in software, but copyrights apply to a lot besides
> >>> software.
> >>
> >>Every product, and I employ the terminology in its broadest sense, has
> >>its idiosyncracies, but business principle remains the same.
> >
> >Yes, and that makes my point.  There are times one has resources and money
> > and can make something happen quickly.  If one does not, and one is
> > either starting from scratch, or is the "average guy",
> The average guy will remain average, and this is not a disparaging remark.
> Sometimes I think he's the lucky one.

Okay, average Joe.  But it's clear your taking the term literally to avoid the 
point I'm making.  When someone comes up with a script, program, or other 
project, many times it will take much longer than 5 years to bring it to 

> It takes a product with potential, /and /a successful strategy, along
> with a personality who is distinctly _not_ average.

Literal.  Let's not be so literal.  Average as in not millionaires, not people 
with connections like Donald Trump.  Maybe I should have clarified that.

> I started with nothing, and became the third largest promoter in the
> history of Australia.
> I didn't do it inside five years, but by then, I was well on my way.
> Beginning, end, and entire middle of story.

Which means that, although you have to have an organization, a large part of 
what you do (no offense intended) is basically get people to believe how 
great something is.  That helps me understand the types of points you make 
and how you discuss the situation better.

> I'm glad to hear that you're beginning to do well.
> Handling everything yourself sounds like a different strategy.
> I hope it works for you.

For some of us, it is the only way.  I'm not poor, wasn't raised by paupers, 
but I fit into the "middle class" category.  Some would say upper-middle, 
some middle-middle, but the point is I'm not, and never was, in a situation 
where I could easily find partners or funding.  I know a number of small 
business people who do quite well and I went to school with kids who had very 
wealthy parents and are all very well off, but these were not resources I 
could tap.

It's clear we have had to find quite different paths to make things work.  I 
dare say, even though it's taken me close to 4 years to build up my business 
(and soon it'll be automated, so I won't have to spend time on the IT stuff, 
and the IT biz will finance my film production), I dare say I am lucky and 
have been able to move faster than many small business people.

> I've cut a lot from this, but we're getting distinctly OT.

Yep.  And if someone complains, I'll stop.  But often it helps to understand 
different points of view and when we're talking about things like copyrights 
and IP, on a list focused on FOSS, it is interesting and helpful to see the 
wide range of opinions and experience with the topic.


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