Rev's Mac-Centricity (Was: Plea to sell Dan's book widely)

Chipp Walters chipp at chipp.com
Sat Aug 7 23:06:48 EDT 2004


Dan Shafer wrote:

> Chipp.........
> 
> You knew I'd have to chime in here. :-)
> 
> Not simply to be contrarian, but I do not believe RR has any serious 
> chance of making real inroads into other platforms. Period. 

Dan,

Chiming back atcha! Dan, you do make a compelling argument, but I 
suggest 3 components which are in favor of RR's ability to succeed on 
more than 1 platform:

1) It's a new day. With the debacle created by MS of enterprise 
security, I think we'll begin to see a shift to (dare i say;-) Linux on 
the desktop before too long....especially as Longhorn draws near. (Note: 
I just read recently where the number of Linux's on the desktop has 
overcome MacOSX installations.) I believe many a CIO will think 
carefully about the next migration to Longhorn-- as this last migration 
from 2000 to XP has been difficult for many, and Longhorn may have some 
serious configuration issues when released (not to mention the cost). 
Also, many, many enterprises are already transitioning off of MS server 
based solutions to Linux/Uxix due to all the SQL Server targeted 
security risks.

Not to mention all of the alienated VB programmers MS created when it 
dumped VB in favor of .NET. And now they're getting rid of VB all together!

Along with this new day, are plenty of new opportunities. Where is the 
VB for Linux? I'm not suggesting RR take front and center, but if I 
owned the company, I would certainly prepare a strategy focussed on 
Linux within the timeframe of Longhorn launch. Think about it, all you 
really need is a single major player validating the RR platform. A 
strategic partner like IBM can do wonders for this technology. Just 
think about how many copies would sell if IBM invested in RR as the 'VB' 
for cross-platform development...

2) Entrepreneurs are by definition, optimistic. If Kevin only believed 
the value of RR was for the Mac community, then why not simply drop the 
other platforms? It sure would make their job much easier. I really 
think (as do some others like Jerry, Richard and you;-) that RR is good 
enough for serious professional development, and I believe it's adoption 
is mostly a function of marketing & positioning, not technical achievement.

A quick story. At a Palm Springs CEO summit in the 90's, I spent some 
time with Eric Schmidt, the then CTO for Sun (currently CEO for Google) 
who was focussed on evangelizing Java. I mentioned to him we had done a 
technical assessment of Java and found it seriously lacking 
performance-wise. He frankly admitted such, with the caveat that 'as 
long as the perception is managed correctly- it will improve and be 
successful.' He pointed to Window 3.1 as an example of managed 
perception until the technology caught up (Win95). Of course, he was 
correct.

So, in my opinion, all RR needs is the resources to manage the 
perception. It, of course, is much better than Java was at that time.

3) Two words: Market Share.  MacOSX is currently on around 50% of the 
2.7% installed base (1.35%), and creates a very small market opportunity 
for RR. Consider the other 96+%. All one needs is only a 'dent' in this 
market to create a business. Furthermore, one isn't subject to the whims 
of Apple (one day you're their darling, next day their victim a la 
Konfabulator), so it behoves RR to focus on other platforms.

IMO, Any RR investor would do so on the belief of it's strongest virtue: 
cross-platform development. To ignore it, would be irresponsible from a 
business point of view.

Your turn :-)

-Chipp




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