[Linux-aus] Benefits (was: M$ buys off SA)

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Tue Jul 15 14:33:02 UTC 2003

On Tue, 15 Jul 2003 13:54, Andrae Muys wrote:
> Thanks for making that point as it helped crystalise a vague feeling
> I have had for some time.  My father is a business man, and started
> teaching my siblings and I the basics of business and marketing from
> the moment we could comprehend money.  One thing I was taught early
> on was to consider FAB's, or Features, Advantages, Benefits[1].  As a
> quick example consider selling a can of coke.  One Feature is the
> caffiene, an associated Advantage is it will help keep you awake,
> however the reason you might buy it is because of the Benifit: You
> will be able to concentrate on your study for an extra hour and pass
> your exam in the morning.

> The point is that people buy things because of the benefits, real or
> perceived, not the features or advantages.

> Why is this important?  Because M$ is currently pursuing a reverse
> advertising campaign against FOSS.  They are spending alot of money
> explaining the features of FOSS[2] and comparing them to the benefits
> of proprietary software.

> Notice how the ISC is busy explaining how FOSS provides open access
> to source code, and allows you to make modifications, and has low
> upfront costs, and feature this, and feature that... They are
> attempting to saturate peoples perceptions of FOSS with a list of
> features in an attempt to prevent us from effectively communicating
> the benefits of FOSS.  Worse still, it gives them an aura of
> objectivity, after all they're saying all these nice things about
> FOSS right!?

> Leon is right.  We need to focus on the benefits of FOSS.

OK (but Leon was not actually right, Leon was only close): given that 
OSV has just had a turn (and considering my biasses, see sig) and that 
this lies squarely in the business field, I think SLPWA should make a 
statement about it.

I originally thought that such a statement should pivot on debate being 
too tightly focussed, and I still think that would be a good starting 
point. With that in mind, I've asked SLPWA about it, but if they aren't 
eager, I'm happy to help a different group along.

I'm wide-open to suggestions. I don't mind long emails, so bury me in 
benefits! Please!

Here's some samples I posted to SLPWA's main list:

  * The ability to *change* programs to suit individual departments
    or areas;

  * The ability to *share* such improvements across departments, states
    and the whole country, unhobbled by complex or expensive licence

  * The proven ability of GPL-like licences to *contain* fragmentation
    (and ad-hoc workarounds of limitations in closed-source software)
    to make implementations more consistent across a field;

  * The elimination of much burdensome licence *superintendence*, and
    the related risk of heavy legal expenses if a mistake is made;

  * The complete, reproducible *auditability* of everything;

  * The development of Australian IT *expertise* (not George Jetson
    style expertise, either);

  * The retention of Australian *control* of software development,
    installation and maintenance;

  * The proven general resistance to *viruses*;

  * The ability to more easily *unbundle* contracts for farming out
    to smaller local companies;

If you can think of a way to cram a lot of those benefits into a terse 
media statement, I'd very much appreciate that too, but don't let it 
slow you down in listing benefits, however cumbersome the wording is.

Cheers; Leon

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia

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