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My point of view on Pete Dowson's FSUIPC

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All right,Now that I've read all the posts, including the post from Pete himself, let me share my perspective with all of you out there. I'll try to do this as lucidly as possible, so bear with me....May it be said that I have no personal experience with Pete, only the pleasure of using his utilities. And please read all the way to the end of the post before you get mad and post a reply. I have tried to pick up a good mix of arguments from all parties and some are not going to like certain portions of thsi email, but I believe that if I can get most people to read the whole post, that most people will follow the logic and at least not find any of my post insulting.Nuff said, let's dive into the subject at hand:1) The question as far as I understand it is whether Pete shoule be accepting donations, or charging (or whatever other form of compensation) for the use of future releases of FSUIPC in general.Well, I think that since he devoted a lot of time to the development of FSUIPC in the past and served it up free, all old versions that are currently operating should obviously stay freeware. I also think that given the time involved in developing this tool, which has brought so much fun to all of us merits being paid for it. If I worked day and night to program software that makes thousands of people around the world (who are already spending fortunes on appropriate hardware and add-ons) enjoy FS more, I, too, would like to be compensated for it. With that said, I think Pete in general is entitled to compensation going forward, if he decides to do so.2) The second question is why Pete want to be compensated at this point. It is here, that I have to question Pete's motives...If this was merely about compensating him for his hard work, that decision should have been made long ago. This is not about the hard work by itself, folks. Sure, we are indebted to Pete for providing us a great utility, but we are not indebted monetarily to him, as his releases were freeware and proclaimed to be the work of altruism and fun. So why does Pete want to charge right now? The apparent answer is that he is finding himself in a case of hardship. Hardship so tough he is on a two week vacation and nearing retirement at 60. Let me tell you father is also approaching 60 and not even within 10 years of retiring (and not taking 2 week holidays). It is not one's birth right to retire at age 60. Now, if his medical state impedes him from working and that's what prompts his retirement, I question his long-term value to the FS world as well. I think Pete wants to be paid because he wants to keep up the standard of living he has enjoyed in the past. Problem with that is that only very few people as a result of the 3 year plus global Bear Market can even dream of having that hope. This is a classic case of bloated expectations.Pete (as far as I understand from all posts) has not even lost his job, much unlike many other people he now wants to charge, who make much less money to begin with.I could also argue that Pete could have tried to look for a better paid job all along, or raised a business in the time he spent building and developing FSUIPC. The FS community should not necessarily be held responsible for bad personal decisions its members make. I for once can relate to Pete. I work from home for a company 1500 miles away, but I understand what can happen if I did nothing while at home and if I did not come up with a number of good, actionable ideas each month. Trust me, I am not devoting my time to FS, but to make sure I stay valuable to my employer.That said, I have no pity with Pete. He could most certainly have a good life, even if he did not charge for FSUIPC.3) Donations?My opinion is that donations only work in areas where people are donated to that have nothing to their name. That is the only time human pity will overcome greed. Subsidising a certain lifestyle for someone who has premature retirment in mind...forget it. Donation was the worst decision Pete could have made. As a matter of fact, I bet that had Pete straightaway decided to charge, we would not have been writing as many emails on this subject.4) Charging?Yes. That's the way to go. For more than one reason. I'm a big believer of capitalism. If Pete starts charging, he can name the price he wants to meet his objectives (whether that be maintining living standards or becoming rich at an advanced age). If the market deems his price worth it, they'll buy and since both parties are making a perceived profit, everyone wins. Pete gets money, and FS users get to have lots of fun. If his price is too high, the market will not buy because they don't see a perceived profit and over time, Pete will adjust his prices down and make it work for everyone.There's something else to this. In a market environment, when this type of utility is being sold and paid for, Pete will now have to perform. If he doesn't people are not going to buy his product. If he doesn't, a competitor may come in and put him out of business. This is real Darwinism. No tears, no hardship, no whining. Serve up the best product, ask for a price deemed reasonable by the market and make a killing. Nothing wrong with that. The reason why our man Pete has a monopoly is that he's simply better than anybody else at providing the utility...So far...But that is only because the motivation for others lacks to get into this arena. If all of a sudden the development of such a utility was potentially financially rewarding, trust you me, there are going to be others that want a piece of that pie. At that time, it's up to Pete to show how good he really is...and it is possible that he is not the best at developing this. He's merely the only one right now. The markets have as far as that's concerned, a way of directing each and every person in the direction where they're most proficient.5) How to charge?I guess I don't know what way is the right way. To me, the markets will dictate. Pete's going to do it in which ever way he'll make more money. I personally think that the money is with the commercial add-on developers and MS...and the consistency. Consumers are just too skiddish for a product of flexible demand as FSUIPC, for Pete to make a killing in the long run. Consider this....if the economy keeps doing as bad as now for another while, FS users will think even harder whether to spend an extra $15 for FSUIPC. Their cardiac medication, though, will still have to be paid for no matter what the economy is doing. Similarly, if MS and add-on developers want to keep developing new stuff, they'll have to go to Pete no matter how bad the economy is doing. And they'll have to figure out how to pass that cost down to the consumers at a reasonable cost through volume sales.6) ConclusionNow, I hope I have not offended anyone. If I did, please accept my apologies, I did not intend to do so. Please feel free to reply to my post whether you like it or hate it.Thanks to Pete and good luck with whatever path he chooses,SP

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