30 June 2008

New Improved DRM

Trying to fix a broken business model by using enhanced DRM reminds me of the Canadian gun registry fiasco. Get everyone in the country to register their guns so that we can reduce crime.


Two billion plus later the wonderful gun registry folks realized that maybe the criminals wouldn't want to register.

The new business models will be based on value provided and cost to deliver, not on making your customers jump through hoops to protect your monopolies. As software becomes a commodity, it behaves like any other commodity and the price goes down to the point where the supply meets the demand.

DRM will always ultimately fail - ingenious DRM crackers will find ways to circumvent it - unless the software just isn't that interesting, in which case, you probably don't need DRM because no one cares.

Open source makes all of these issues go away... software is freely copyable, modifiable and distributable. No one needs to track licenses. No one needs to spend extra human and computer cycles running extra software on their entire infrastructure to protect someone else's monopoly.

With open source software like GPL based varieties - for sure there are no infringement issues - the only issue is, does it do what you need?

So, let's stop pretending that the software pirates are going to comply with the new-fangled DRM strategy and instead get real about the benefits of leaving the old paradigm behind and embracing the new.

19 June 2008

Google Docs

Like there weren't already enough nails in the "Old Tech" coffin.

The number of features listed in the what's new for Google Docs is quite frankly unbelievable. It's all summed up here on this simple what's new page... that has a "no big deal... heres some new stuff" sort of attitude. And, of course it's the same price as the rest of their stuff, zero.

It's like they do the opposite of other companies.

Old Tech Pitch: "We have blessed you with an new version of our operating system. Take our word for it, it's more secure, more friendly than ever before"

Old Tech Experience: When you run it it just sort of falls apart as you use it.

New Tech Pitch: "no big deal... here's some new stuff we've built"

New Tech Experience: "holy sh*t, this is amazing!" followed by blog posts, emails, phone calls, watercooler talk.

What an amazing approach... adding real value instead of pretense.

This sort of attitude will not only change software and the world, it might even change corporate IT.