The Good, The Bad and The Greedy!

Usually wanting money is a good thing. It makes us work harder. Greed is actually a good thing. It is the only line of defense between working hard and being a full time couch potato. Occasionally greed makes us do things... really evil things.. The Good Greed : FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) is the perfect example of the good greed. The developers are usually not concerned about the community, they have their own personal greedy reason for contributing to a project. The reasons may be many including(but not limited to) :
  1. They develop it just cause they wanna use it.
  2. Money - Contribute code because someone is paying you to do so or that you would be able to sell services based on it
  3. Bragging rights - to raise social status, a pay raise, etc...
  4. Joy
  5. ...
As you see all the above reasons are selfish greedy reasons and its not a bad thing. The Bad Greed : Listing some of them who are at the top of my mind. Most Propriety Software Vendors (out of scope of this post to name them all, use your your imagination) - For these people the primary greed is to sell their software to the most number of "consumers" and the highest possible price. This is where "best performing" gets substituted for "best selling". The software provided is usually capable of performing better or having more features, but these are locked and made available to "consumers" who pay more. Moreover, the source code for these softwares is mostly not available to the "consumers" so they get away with "selling" any crap they want. Most of the money spent by the "consumers" is spent on legal issues, marketing, propoganda, adverts, yatches and corporate retreats. A lot of the effort put by developers is actually spent on restricting "consumers" from performing tasks on their software rather than adding more functionality. Telcom Operators : These people are supposed to sell bandwidth, thats it. I realized thats so untrue after a recent event where the speaker was from a leading smartphone software manufacturer that the telcom networks make most of their money from VAS (Value Added Services). The downside is it adds value but not for the "consumers" but rather than the bank balance of the company. They charge ridiculous prices for simple things like ringtone downloads, etc where the cost of the bandwidth would be negligible compared to the total fees charged. Well thats not too bad, but the really bad part is they would do everything in their power to prevent their "consumers" from getting these content from elsewhere because then they would charge only for the bandwidth. Device Manufacturers : I am talking about especially about Smartphones here. These people manufacture these wonderful devices, but not to simply sell it at a profit. They want to be able to bundle as much VAS(see previous paragraph) on it as possible. The most common form of their evilness is joining up with a telcom operator exclusively to offer the device along with a plan. Take the example of Google's Android based phone. The device is available in the United States at the price of $177.99 (roughly 6,302.39 Baht) with a plan from T-Mobile and for $399 (roughly 13,971.07 Baht). These phones are available only to T-Mobile customers and are locked to this network. The rest of the world is too foreign to make use of this. A recent trip to Pantip Plaza(Bangkok's IT shopping Mall) showed a retailer selling the G1 for 19,900 Baht (Roughly $568.32) without any warranty. This device was unlocked(probably illegally) and most probably it is illegal to use the device with any other SIM card other than T-Mobile's. A portion of the price you pay for the device is probably going towards the lawyers who helped placed this ristriction in the first place. There are many more examples, but the above ones are about the ones I feel strongest about. So the in the bad greed, the "consumers" actually pay a lot of money to have their freedom taken away from them and become slaves. Coming from a Business family background, we were always tought that "Buyer is God" ... Apparently nowdays it isint true... The bottomline is that Greed may or maynot be a bad thing, it is how you make it work for you. So from now on, be proud of your greediness and use it in your advantage to do better things. The next time someone blames you for being too greedy, your reaction to it would be totally based on how you utilize the greed. For me, my biggest greed would be freedom. I am greedy for it and will not let anyone tell me otherwise. Yours Greedily, Sajal
Tags: FOSS freedom google greed microsoft
Categories: rants