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Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC trial of embedded Flash video

From: Ian Lynch
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] BBC trial of embedded Flash video
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 16:14:35 +0100

On Mon, 2007-05-21 at 15:41 +0100, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-05-21 at 15:27 +0100, Ian Lynch wrote:
> > On Mon, 2007-05-21 at 15:04 +0100, Alex Hudson wrote:
> > > In terms of competition, though, in the software business such things
> > > are sometimes naturally limited by time - VCs are usually after an exit
> > > in the medium-term, and they may be thinking that this kind of business
> > > has a life span of a similar term. After all, in ten year's time, we'll
> > > likely have something completely different to Flash around.
> > 
> > But for an exit they would normally look for a buyer of the business or
> > a floatation. If the life of the business is limited so will be its
> > attractiveness to a buyer or stock market investors who are looking
> > longer term. 
> Indeed. I'm just thinking, though, that if they're after the "flash in
> embedded devices" type market (which is probably a play requiring much
> more than a working Flash plugin), 

That I think is more likely.I think most FOSS viable business models are
likely to work with the software only being a small part of an overall
system or service.

> the investment goes in to make a
> short-term buck, not to build a long-term business.

Making that buck is what is not clear to me. I can't see them making sat
20m in clear profit selling an open source flash player on its own. If
it adds value to a disproportionate extent to a different business
causing that business to grow to 100 x the size I can see that business
being worth a lot.

> I understand the point you're making though - are we actually sure Gnash
> has got VC funding here? I hadn't seen any announcement that they'd
> raised $/€ 10M, let alone that it was venture capital.

It could just have had investment eg from some big company with an
agenda to kill Adobe or whatever. Its a bit like sun putting development
resource into OOo because it saves them paying MSO licenses to M$ as
well as giving them a product to sell and to add value to a Solaris
desktop etc. Its not because Sun think they'll build up an OOo business
and sell it at a big fat profit. 

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