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[board-discuss] Re: [tdf-members] Personal: and software freedom.

Hi Lionel,

        First - thanks for your thoughtful feedback. I essentially agree =)

On 10/07/2020 02:40, Lionel Élie Mamane wrote:
Redhat will sell you a yearly subscription for a single workstation,
as low as 180 USD. So will SuSE for 32 GBP. Will any ecosystem company
scale down ? That takes a fully automated setup, where people
self-register and pay on your website.

        Right - and such infrastructure requires significant investment to
setup; absent any need for that - no-one will do make that investment I
guess (outside of app-stores). Currently interest is negligible, so that
investment looks premature.

Closer to home, Microsoft will sell you a single licence for their
office suite, either as "perpetual" or "subscription" starting at 5
USD/month or 8.25 USD/month, no upfront payment, pay each month. I
wouldn't call the process entirely pain-free, but from their point of
view, it doesn't require human intervention for every sale, for every
invoice, for every payment.


So, if ecosystem companies want to attract the same "every business
user pays" model, they need to make that actually workable, easy and
as painless as possible. Currently, my feeling is that it is
deadlocked into a chicken and egg type problem; the ecosystem
companies are the chicken, and they need to invest effort (and
capital) lay the first eggs. They cannot wait for the economies of
scale to drop into their lap and make it worthwhile to setup the
human-free "pay us" system. They need to put the system in place, and
only then can the number of small scale paying users actually grow.

        Sure. Then again - if there is an explosion of interest that proves
demand (this would be a good problem to have) - I'm confident that the
ecosystem can respond in a matter of days to weeks to plug that gap =)

If the developer ecosystem companies are not willing to put their
money where their mouth is (and "lay the first eggs" for the SME
market), the whole presentation needs to be refocused so that it is
clear that only "enterprise" deployments of "many" (for some value of
"many") users are invited/encouraged/under moral obligation to pay.

        Which is a completely fair comment too. It's unclear of course if eg. a
Community Edition will yield any significant traction, and certainly
encouraging enterprises of a certain size to contribute (because others
might swamp the ecosystem with transaction & setup costs) is hard to do
in a single word =)

        I imagine this can be finessed initially by careful marketing on the
LibreOffice Enterprise portal to steer the right people to use
LibreOffice Community vs. an Enterprise version.



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