Subject RE: [Firebird-general] Re: "DevCo" & Firebird
Author Steve Summers
Roman Rokytskyy wrote

>First of all we have to think about which market we want to target. We have following options:

>- Simple dynamic web sites...
>- Embedded use...
>- Small enterprises...
>- Medium enterprises...

SES: We should try to attract more companies like ours, who SELL integrated products (in our case, POS systems) to
small-to-medium sized businesses. Firebird works well for us because it's easy to develop for, reasonably fast, unobtrusive,
easy to install, runs on non-server versions of Windows, requires little maintenance or administration, and of course, doesn't
require us to track licenses, pay for them, pay for upgrades, pay for maintenance, etc. I suspect that would apply to a lot of
companies. We were already paying Borland for IB licenses, so spending $6K a year to be a gold sponsor is much less than we were
paying already.

>So, would DevCo be a solution to our problems? Sure. Even if they invest $215,000 yearly (cost of one developer), it would
allow us to have a team in Russia for example consisting of 7-10 people.

SES: If they decide to continue to sell support contracts to existing IB customers (something that would fit well with their
stated business objectives), then they'll need to keep at least a few programmers on their staff who are familiar with the code
and can diagnose the really tricky problems that sometimes happen- just as IBPhoenix does. And just like IBPhoenix, those
developers A) need to keep their head in the game, and B) aren't busy tracking down problems ALL THE TIME. Spending their spare
time working with the other Firebird developers on advancing the project is a good way to stay current with the software and
utilize their spare time.

>But if DevCo invests money into the project, they want to gain something too. And this is the main danger, since if they play
unfair we might lose our project.

SES: True, but the risk of that already exists- and is potentially worse. If MySQL or any of the even bigger "competitors" in
the larger DBMS market decided that FB was a threat, it would cost them only a few hundred thousand dollars a year to hire away
the core Firebird team. How long would FB stay a viable product if Dmitry, Claudio, Helen, and a few others were given offers
they can't refuse to do something else full time? If DevCo dumped IB to focus on the development tools, and developer support,
and used FB to fill the hole, they might have some incentive to keep Firebird viable. If they don't, then the more successful FB
gets, the more incentive they'll have to spend the cost of a couple developers to KILL Firebird.