Sunday, November 09, 2003

For the FUN of IT
Returning to the simpler times of software

I sort of landed into the world of IT and software development after much of the wheels of change had started to churn. Still I found the significance of certain ideas to be very humanly universal.

One example would be that of P2P file sharing opportunities. Like most earthlings the largest part of what I could know about P2P or file sharing would be what mainstream media has accounted for P2P resources and software, which is basically bootlegging. Of course it is more complicated than this for example statistics that show the overwhelming numbers of individuals not owning PC’s of any kind for various reasons. Not to mention the very large number of small businesses not embracing technologies to promote their business and sell their products even in major cities.

Price is a big factor for the other side of this sit in where business and personal uses are concerned. Researching the history of open source databases, software, and file sharing illustrates that most of the technology progress for the masses over the past ten years has been because of the freedom to be creative with software development applications and to establish open access to be used for whatever purpose. Without the hands on experience it is difficult to find practical uses for technologies and software. This is what keeps consumers opting out in their shopping selections.

Aside from the rebellious label that file sharing represents it is also a form of pleasure and relief. A way for people to share and exchange programs to keep the interest and fun of IT fresh on the minds of those shelling out thousands of dollars for hardware alone.

Back in the day, software was free and offered in order to encourage the purchase of hardware and to promote its usefulness. Now software is basically its own entity and industry. Truthfully there is not a lot wrong with that but in general most of us don’t have thousands of dollars laying around to keep reinvesting in an already expensive purchase. It is natural to assume that the new car you just bought is going to drive out of the parking lot without further expense on your part. Likewise it is natural to expect a full tank of gas for the investment. Why then is it so difficult for lawmakers and software manufacturers to find the relevancy in making their software as available and affordable as possible? It is an honest and legitimate question, ignoring IT is going to create more problems than solutions. It will lower fun, entertainment, and personal uses in technologies, it will increase the price for businesses, and finally it will slow down the ability to promote and innovate for the future.

In fact, without much in the way of hard statistics I am willing to wager that the majority of PC and laptop owners have made purchases because they needed it for serious endeavors like school and work. Likewise I am willing to wager that most PC owners made every effort to borrow software from someone they knew so as not to have to spend another thousand in order to put their hardware to use.

I think this is a near sighted marketing mishap on the part of sellers and distributors of computer hardware and software.

Entertainment brings in money just as readily as necessity. Yet no one manufacturer or seller is looking for ways to increase sales by making experience fun. Fun sells! But FUN is not leading sales the way that it could and should. Microsoft was savvy enough to partner up with hardware companies to distribute its operating systems and desktop software. Why can their competitors? What is wrong with file sharing exactly? Isn’t it ironic to the thinking mind that the top music download of the year was also the retail best seller? Popularity is not a threat to success greed however, really is.

Maybe it is time to stop and think about what’s best just for the FUN of IT by accommodating consumer needs rather than attempting to define them! When it comes to business models Open Source database software is a real time and money saver, not to mention easier for IT maintenance resources. P2P is based on the same principle of applying democratic thinking to our products and product availability. Where is the attraction of keeping a good thing so exclusive?

When has it ever been wrong to equate the power of pleasure for the most people when attempting to make a difference or a profit? The irony is that people are more likely to pay twice the price for something whether it is technically worth it or not, when it brings them a sense of pleasure, fun, or achievement.

Can your software do this? Tell us about IT..


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