[svlug] open source mimicking existing software?

Sanatan Rai sanat at stanford.edu
Wed Mar 2 15:20:44 PST 2005

: Now, I think a more interesting line of investigation for an MBA class is
: the notion that entrepreneurs can build businesses on top of OSS. Google
: is an excellent example of this. Google has a lot of intellectual property
: and yet they have used OSS to great advantage. And this is entirely
: honorable in the sense that they do not violate any licenses. Your MBA
: folks ought to consider the implications.

	This can be generalised to saying that in environments where the
performence and reliability are crucial, these decisions are made by
experts and not by managers whose criteria are usually not sensible. For
example, the quant groups in many investment banks use Unix heavily,
certainly Derman mentions Suns at Goldman. I don't think anyone tried to
make them use DOS/Windows, they got pretty much what they thought was
needed. So what I am saying is that this question of which kind of
system to use, shouldn't be made by managers in the first place as far
as technical use is concerned. It ought to be made by the end users
(usu. engineers) and the admins, who quite as capable to estimating
total costs as an MBA. So the big problem here is that a decision that
affects the productivity of a large number of people is made by persons
other than those people---this is silly on the basis of common sense

Sanatan Rai,                      | EMail: sanat at stanford.edu
Dept. of Management Sc. & Engg.   | Home: 143 Ayrshire Farm Lane #104
Stanford University,              |       Stanford, Ca 94305.
Stanford, Ca 94305.               | 'phone: (650) 498 1655 (R)

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