[linux-elitists] What's some marketing buzzwords for what we do?

Michael Bacarella mbac@netgraft.com
Sun Dec 29 21:50:27 PST 2002

> > THAT is the market for wandering hackers if you ask me.
> I guess that I'd disagree that there aren't shrink-wrapped software vendors
> trying to address that market. That's what MS wants to go after with Great
> Plains' Small Business Manager.  There are also products like iCode's
> Accware (which runs on Linux), Peachtree, and others.

One part of it is that these businesses have no idea that
the way they're doing something sucks. It isn't until they
speak to a techie that they're even aware that there's a much
better way.

The second part of it is that each solution is wildly different.

I mean the general idea is the same: inventory goes into the database,
sales go into the database, vendors go into the database, customers
go into the database, money goes into the database. It's easy in
theory, but in practice I can't imagine even semi-technical
people would be able to set such a beast up, so the all-shrink-wrapped
software solution goes out the window and these companies need to hire help.

Once you're talking about help, suddenly the potential hire selling
proprietary "Business Management" software has to compete against
hackers who have the distinct open source advantage (faster, cheaper,
more reliable, robust, interoperable, etc). Given equally matched
sales skills, the hacker should be able to win every time.

> But my question is why isn't something like Accware on Linux a good
> solution?  If it's crap, where does it fail?  Or are you talking about
> providing installation, customization, and training for something like
> Accware?

I don't know. I've never heard of it or used it, but I suspect
it's not good enough.

Again, most small businesses are not very computer literate past the
point of buying a Dell computer that comes with Windows and MS Word and
a printer. When you tell them that they can stop making floppy disk
backups forever with just a few adjustments on their computer and
another computer on their network, they're amazed beyond belief.

Now, I admit, that kind of thing is trivial and boring to most of
us. But when an entire business grows while still employing that
kind of technical sophistication everywhere (floppy disk backups),
you uncover a pitiful underdeveloped information system that somehow
runs their entire business. You are presented with an opportunity
to help these poor guys out, build them a system that kicks ass, and
blow their minds.   Oh, and cuts their costs, increases their
productivity, etc.

Even if an ad in Forbes tells a manager that this kind of help is
available, it just can't compete with a wandering h4x0r who can come
in, sit down with them, and basically offer them what seems like magic.

I think we lose sight of what we can offer to the rest of industry
because we socialize with people who are generally technically competent,
and we prefer to deal with businesses involved in technology. As for
the rest of the world, I really think they're desperate for our help.

Michael Bacarella  | Netgraft Corp
                   | 545 Eighth Ave #401
 Systems Analysis  | New York, NY 10018
Technical Support  | 212 946-1038 | 646 641-8662
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