Ethics... and the lack of it.

Jim Bufalini jim at
Wed Dec 2 09:37:42 EST 2009

Richmond Mathewson wrote:


> 2 simple reasons:
> 1. The Ransom demanded was 5 times what they paid me.
> 2. They had an extremely valuable meeting with business
>       clients the next day and those documents were among
>       those that had been "hosed".
> Ethics ain't in it.

And Kay C Lan wrote:


> Of course having other metrics which have been historically recorded
> and
> prepared prior to your software, and by which you know you'll be bench
> marked against, would be the most logical form of determining
> software's
> (robot's, employee's, facebook's....) value.

This is also called ROI (Return On Investment).

Many years ago, I developed a hardware/software solution for a newspaper
agency. They were kind enough to provide me with their ROI, for my own
marketing purposes. The ROI came out at 92%.

I was shocked, at the time, because I knew for a fact that the system saved
them 6-times what they paid for it (which was around to $200,000) in the
very first 6-months of use! Why not 600 or 1,200 percent?

I studied the ROI and they discounted for this and deducted for that. I
didn't get it. 

Well, as it turns out, 92% was the highest ROI ever of any "IT" system in
the newspaper industry. It was so high that this newspaper JPO (Joint
Production Operation), which was ranked third in revenue in the Gannet chain
of newspapers, at the time, was called on the carpet by Gannet and accused
of "pencil pushing." 

After a "corporate visit," the ROI held at 92%. I was disappointed. I
thought it would go up! A little over a year later, a large vendor to the
newspaper industry bought my company. They knew how newspapers calculate
ROIs and knew that 92% was outrageous and wanted my software. :-)

So, it really isn't ethics. It really is business. Don't take insult, just

Aloha from Hawaii,

Jim Bufalini

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