Monday, September 01, 2008

What are *you* afraid of?

I'll tell you what I'm afraid of. Patents. Software patents specifically.

This week I'll be attending the Business of Software conference in Boston, where folks are getting together to discuss all the gnarly difficulties associated with building software for money. Judging from the presentation topics people are worried about how to build software, how to market it and how to charge for it. Clearly these are all very worthwhile topics. I guess for myself, however, these are the least of my worries. I classify them as rational problems. You can try things, see what works and what doesn't, experiment, and move on. Easy.

But patents. Patents lurk around late at night, watching and waiting, ready to strike at the worst possible time. Patents are not rational. They're a problem I clearly don't understand. Richard Stallman himself will be speaking at BoS 2008, mostly on the evils of patents as applied to software. I'm already convinced of the evils, what I need now is a strategy to manage patent risk!

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