May 24, 2003
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Software and Music

Dave Winer and Tim Bray each write today about the terrible damage we are inflicting on the software world. Winer writes:

Today software and music, software and writing, software and all kinds of creativity, are indistinguishable.

and asks, "Who will pay for software?" Bray observes that corporations today are unreasonably risk averse, that writing a small software order requires Permission From The Top, and that this stifles everyone. He's trying a shareware strategy for big-ticket systems.

My intuition is that trying to make brilliant, innovative software is hard, and trying to establish brilliant, innovative business models is hard, too. Trying to do both at once might be too hard for anyone. But, you never know, and it's worth a try. Nothing else is working…

I touched on this recently when I observed that the call for freeing artists from the need to program is really an effort to see scientists and engineers as subhuman.