ADSL support ?

Michael Saunby mike at chook.demon.co.uk
Mon Jan 8 17:24:36 GMT 2001


[SNIP]
>
> If you can offer an argument as to why the release of the firmware would
> be a good thing, then please read _this_*.
>
> *link to your email in the FreeBSD UKUG archive.
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The definition of  "a good thing(tm)" depends greatly on who you are and
what you want.  Presumably what is needed here is "why it would be a good
thing for Alcatel. More precisely Alcatel's staff who make such decisions,
and its owners who stand to lose or gain based on the validity the "good
thing" argument.

Sadly most business people are motivated by cash, and fear.  I'll assume you
haven't got a suitcase full of banknotes, so I'll work with fear -

1. FEAR OF THE FUTURE. The "Open Source is a good thing" argument. This
might work, but any IT business that isn't already aware of the likely
future role of Open Source is heading nowhere fast.  Note I don't mean those
that have chosen not to get involved, they may well succeed; I mean the ones
with their head in the sand (or elsewhere but similarly dark).  So far we
haven't seen significant Open Source hardware initiatives, but as so often
happens in this industry, needs must.  I know I'm not the only
electronic/social engineer out here :-)

2. FEAR OF MARKET SATURATION. Your market share cannot exceed Window's
market share if you only support Windows.  Good point, but it's still a hell
of a market share!

3. FEAR OF COMPETITORS/THE POWER OF EARLY ADOPTERS. If FreeBSD users, and
other technically clued up early adopters of new technologies are forced to
go elsewhere for ADSL modems, they are likely to recommend these competing
devices to friends, family, and their employers!

4. FEAR OF SUPPLIERS/CUSTOMERS.  It may be that the firmware is not the sole
property of Alcatel.  Though clearly if Alcatel were to be convinced of the
Open Source argument this could be fixed.  On the other hand if Alcatel is
actually a supplier of firmware to other companies then an Open Source
alternative would destroy this side of the business.  In modern business
there is hardly ever a clear division between supplier and customer.  For
example Universities buy hardware, educate students who then take jobs with
hardware companies and design new hardware.  It would be a shame to break
this cycle through the lack of a goodwill gesture to the Open Source
community.

Well that will have to do for now; work to be done.  Hope something here
suggests a fix for your problem.  Anyone feeling in a more positive mood
might want to develop similar arguments with an altruism theme.

Michael Saunby





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