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RE: What kind of industry do you mean? (Was: [Caml-list] objective caml and industry)
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Date: 2002-09-02 (16:51)
From: Mattias Waldau <mattias.waldau@a...>
Subject: RE: What kind of industry do you mean? (Was: [Caml-list] objective caml and industry)
> I don't agree. My customers pay me to develop server
> software on *nix, where the clients just happen to be Linux 
> boxes but might just as well be windows boxes, for all I 
> care. And I'm paid pretty well actually.

Sounds more that you work as a paid consultant, so you make a 
living by selling hours, not software. Making a living as a 
consultant is much easier. I have also done that, but then 
you can't decide what you would like to do, and you can't select
the programming language of your choice.

What I meant was creating commercial software, where the bulk of
the revenue is on the licenses of the program. 
Much higher risk than the consultant, but you are your own boss.
(And you can use O'Caml, because your customers don't care)

For example, someone knowledgable in O'Caml could take
Spam Oracle by Xavier Leroy and improve it and package
it for MS Outlook. You can probably sell it for $29, so
if you sell more than a few thousand licenses per year,
you make a living. (I think there is about one billion
PC's and more that one hundred million MS Office
users out there). Try to find a couple of thousand Linux
users who are willing to pay, not even the Linux 
distributors succeed in that :-)

(I haven't checked the licensing of Spam Oracle, so ask
Xavier Leroy first.)

It will probably difficult for you to make everything
using O'Caml, you will need C++ or VB.

Some links to get you starting:

Microsoft Office 2000 provides an extensibility interface 
that can be exposed by add-ins created in Visual Basic, 
Visual C++, or Visual J++ in order to connect to and 
disconnect from any Office host application.

How to create a COM-add in using Visual Basic:

You will soon realize that creating the program is the least
of your problem, finding the customers are much harder.
Here are some suggestions:

1. Continue develop the *nix-version as freeware and use it to advertise
your other version with something like "Do you want you mother
to get rid of spam, use the Outlook-version". Advertise the
open version on Freshmeat and similar.
2. Make a Mozilla version as freeware, people who use Mozilla
will not buy software from you anyway :-)
3. Advertise on the net at locations where you pay per click,
or even better, you pay depending on how much people on that
site buy from you. (little risk)

Cost to get you starting:
1. A lot of your free time
2. Visual Studio, (v5 or 6 is enough, you can buy second hand)
3. An extra computer to test installation and similar 
(You need to test on clean machines and under differnent version
of windows)


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