Virtual OS/2 International Consumer Education

April 1998


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Practical Zealotry

By: Tom Nadeau, (

Some OS/2 fans get a little leery when they hear about somebody putting a Microsoft product on their PCs. Eyes open even wider when they hear someone is going to work for a company that uses one of the W-products. When a fellow OS/2 user is found to be actually working with the *other operating system* on a regular basis, some zealous folks even go ballistic.

Really, this is a little impractical. But, *not for the reasons you might think.*

What we OS/2 fans are famous for, namely, our loyalty to a great product, sometimes makes us a little worried that someone might be "defecting" to the "other side." On the other hand, did anyone question Compaq's loyalty to the MS-Intel-Compaq axis last year, when Compaq signed on to sell OS/2-preloaded PCs to Banco de Brasilia? No, of course not.

Smart folks differentiate between somebody's *revenue stream* versus their *strategic agenda*. When I go to work fixing Windows95 deathtraps, it's not my *agenda*, it's a *revenue stream*. When I hawk OS/2 to my friends, coworkers, relatives, and assorted destitute street people, it's seldom involving any immediate revenue, but it *is* an agenda for long-term strategic growth.

And just where does growth come from, anyway? It comes from raking in revenue streams from OUTSIDE your own projects and plowing them back into these strategic products. This is the opposite of what companies like SPG do. You remember SPG, right? The company that made great OS/2 graphics software, sold some, and then decided to use their profits to develop solely for Win32? We need to have the opposite plan if we want to experience growth: find revenue streams from outside the OS/2 community, and work to plow them back into OS/2 development and marketing. This is Practical Zealotry: making sure your strategic agenda remains pro-OS/2, no matter where you get your revenue streams from.

Let's face it. We basically have enough OS/2 users and developers to maintain the status quo indefinitely. But if we want to do more than that -- if we want to see OS/2 experience real growth and success -- we need to bring in outside resources beyond what we currently have. This occasionally might even involve selling some W-products. The key is to keep your eye on the long-term goal of OS/2 growth and success. Remember that how you make your money is just a means to an end, whether that end is OS/2 or any other "cause" you might choose to support. There is no "litmus test" for OS/2 users.

Tom Nadeau
OS/2 Headquarters -- Your Chauffeur on the Info Highway


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