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Re: Antitrust Bill of Rights
> > It seems to be a common perception that the persons that are most
> > effected by the existence and toleration of monopolies are
> > capitalists, who weren't lucky enough to get in on the ground floor.
> > I wonder if this is true? The reaction of most entrepreneurs (as
> > Ralph points out) is to move on the next pasture, and try to grow
> > their own monopoly. Investors just buy into an already existing one
> > (Somebody is driving up the price of MS).
> No, this is not true. Many entrepeneurs are idea driven. The presence of
> monopolies keeps them from ever getting financing, or succeeding without it.
> So their great idea rots.
> This is like killing one of their children. It hurts.
In a related note, I think that this particular monopoly is slightly different
because there is a secondary type of person who is affected tremendously by
this: the developer. I like to use the metaphor of the artist. There are a
lot of artists, each of whom will say that for their goal, their medium is the
ultimate medium for doing whatever it is that they want. The current
situation for developers is as if a really aggressive art supply company that
only produces water color supplies came into the market, and set about
destroying all other mediums. What's more, the art supply company, using it's
ill gotten gains, floods the media with propaganda regarding the inferiority
of the paintings done with oil, the validity of sculptures, even photography
is portrayed as a secondary art form, not quite capable of being artistic.
Seeing as most of the population is ignorant about art as is, people begin to
buy it after 5 or 6 years of constant bombardment. There are still bastions
of oil painters because they can still use the canvas that the only remaining
canvas maker (the aggressive art supply company) produces. The solution of
course is to ensure that the canvases don't hold oil, and to package their
water color with every canvas.
In this scenerio, there is a whole culture of people that is affected
tremendously by the monopoly's aggressive behaviour that isn't an end consumer
or a business man or middle man (dealers, etc, in the art metaphor). It's a
group of people who are very passionate about their mediums, and many of whom
are quite specialized in the medium they have adopted. With the advent of a
water-color only society, these artists are becoming more and more pressured
out of their ability to work. The business men can move on into dealing water
color paintings, but not all of the painters can move on into the water color
I think that there is an inate prejudice towards developers, because people
don't understand that it takes a tremendous amount of time and skill to become
truely adept at systems of development. The Microsoft development platform
and development systems are sort of like water color: weak, transparent, and
terribly inflexible. You can make fine masterpieces with their systems, but
you can't make everything. To allow Microsoft to continue to destroy it's
competition such as it did with borland is to invite a world of Microsoft only
development tools on a Microsoft only development platform.
In an interesting related note, Microsoft has begun to do to Netscape what it
did to Borland... it's paying huge amounts of money to our senior developers
in order for them to come to Microsoft and work on their competing product. I
know of a few such cases... you would be amazed at the starting bonuses
Microsoft is offering these people. If this sort of behaviour by a monopoly
isn't illegal, I think it should be. A monopoly obviously has a superior
monetary advantage, and will be able to easily woo the senior people that
their competitor relies on which large lump sums of money. This is how
Microsoft made their near monopoly in development tools and word processors.
Anyways... enough random thoughts... need more sleep... :)