Saturday, November 13, 2004

Pirates of the Software-ribbian

In the last few weeks I have gotten back to what this blog should be about. Posting ideas that solve problems, or at least look at problems in a different way.

What is the single thing that hurts software companies more than anything? Piracy. There are several solutions.

1) have the software on DVDs that erases themselves after install.
2) live with it.
3) as more people get on broadband, they can track users by serial number...which will be quite costly.

or my ideas:

1) as broadband becomes commonplace and machines become faster (2 years from now?) have the products available on a central server where you have to pay for a subscription. Similiar to a high tech yahoo games, except you have to pay. This will obviously be expensive...probably more expensive then the dollars lost to piracy.
2) Innovate. Think outside the box. Stand on the table and look around...(ala Dead Poets Society). See things differently. Have corporate accounts continue to pay for licensed software. But for home users that don't want to pay the 1k for Office 2003 Premium Super Duper, or PhotoShop, or whatever, give it to them for free. Lay out the software products similiar to google's search results. On the right side (and where ever) have clickable ads on the documents that take you to the web. (Microsoft, you can finally become a Monoploy...have Microsoft Office products have links that take users to the MSN stores.) What if you don't want the ads? Then pay for the product. There will be far fewer licenses out there, so it would now be feasible for the software companies to monitor serial number usage. Better still someone could start up a third party company responsible for tracking serial numbers. (similiar to credit bureaus, or background check companies). This third party company would have an immediate monopoly with the first mover advantage. Eventually you could even have a smart search engine within the document (similiar to Amazon's technology) that customizes the ads based on you.

Why don't I do any of this? There's only 24 hours in a day. Either someone is going to come out of nowhere and pay me to be a think tank, or I am going to stay on the career quest I am on...(portfolio management). But I'm going to throw ideas out there.

I have emailed Bill Gates, Mark Cuban, and Adobe on the above. We'll see if anyone replies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greg I believe that idea #1 exists already and is called an Application Server and is utilized by authenticating users so if you have rights to use a service/program this will be determined by privlages given to your user account.

Good idea for #2, i'm sure that idea has already been thought of and possibly even patented by a company. This idea is too good not to have been thought of before from some IT company's R+D group (not saying it's not an original idea from you). I've never thought about this type of license before and it makes a lot of sense. Seems like a whole new industry could be started w/ the serial tracking industry. It's very hard for industries to make a drastic change like this. I do see the Software world heading in this direction though, this idea just makes too much sense. Can't find any negatives about an idea like this except that we all know there are ways around every safeguard in IT. It will always be a cat and mouse game for software companies and piraters. So as the software gets smarter so do the pirates.....


Tue Nov 16, 05:19:00 PM EST  

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