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Fortune Takes a Look at Bram Cohen 200

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the if-you-can't-beat-em-join-em dept.
jackstack writes "Fortune has an interesting article about bittorrent creator Bram Cohen. 'Right now I'm the CEO because I don't trust anyone else to be the CEO,' Bram says. The article goes into some interesting detail about Bram's state of mind, his poor history in college, and gives a glimpse of what it's like to go from being an unknown, brilliant geek - to the CEO of an $8.75 Million startup company."
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Fortune Takes a Look at Bram Cohen

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  • by Red_Foreman (877991) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:41PM (#13812374)
    It's all about the community - what Bram did was to unify the community into donating bandwidth through BitTorrent, and that's what makes it so special.

    Bandwidth costs money, and offering, say, Linux ISO's is expensive. But, if people opt in (BitTorrent) each person is joining a community and helping out with the cost of bandwidth - especially those who are accessing via an ISP and not through work.

    It's the same level of cooperation that makes OSS so special.

    • by rovingeyes (575063) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:46PM (#13812410)

      Your first line should read - "It's all about the community - what Bram did was to unify the community into donating bandwidth & pornthrough BitTorrent...". He made it popular by offering pr0n. See he has some marketing skills in him. I think he is qualified to be CEO.

    • It's the same level of cooperation that makes OSS so special.

      Bandwidth wants to be free, eh?
    • What is remarkable about Bittorrent is the protocol, not the rather limited Bittorrent app. The polished and feature-rich Azureus rules the Bittorrent sphere.

      Hear that, Mr. Cohen? There's a better than even chance you're reading this, so here's my advice: ditch your app, rebadge a version of Azureus, and make that the "official" Bittorrent application.

      • BitTorrent runs like horse shit on my computer. I'm not saying it runs slow on all computers, or that Java is inherently slow, but one of the nice "features" of the official BitTorrent client is that it isn't overloaded with features.
      • The polished and feature-rich Azureus rules the Bittorrent sphere.

        That says a lot about the current population of the BitTorrent sphere. I suspect that an "invisible" BitTorrent client built in to popular browsers (e.g. Opera) would have lots more users than Azureus.

        This gives me a thought: Which has more users, Azureus or World of Warcraft? How "feature-rich" is the WoW updater?
      • You are correct, the BitTorrent protocol is important. Too bad Azureus doesn't implement it fully or properly.

        One mans feature-rich is another mans bloated.
      • So how exactly do you run Azureus on a headless Server? It is a shitty GUI app and it depends on Java in addition to that. It is in no way usable for large scale seeding OR downloading 24/7 if you don't want to run your desktop PC 24/7 due to much higher energy use (3D graphics card, ...)
        • "So how exactly do you run Azureus on a headless Server?"

          I'm new to bittorrent..trying to figure it out, and I'd assumed there was a CLI to do this, but, can't figure out how to do it. There is precious little documentation on the bit torrent site. I've gotten Azureus running, but, would prefer to do BT in a CLI manner..so I can script things. Do you have any links or pointers? I'm trying to run it on a Gentoo box...

      • Try utorrent, it's like Azureus but without the bloat of java.

        # Typical memory use less than 4 MB
        # Incredibly small: 96 KB

        http://www.utorrent.com/ [utorrent.com]

        Only thing it's missing is uPnP and if you have that enabled you should be shot.
        • Only thing it's missing is uPnP and if you have that enabled you should be shot.

          Well, you copied two off the "At a glance" list, but I don't think you read it very well. Full list:

          Multiple simultaneous downloads
          Smart bandwidth usage
          File level priorities
          Configurable bandwidth scheduling
          Global and per-torrent speed limiting
          Quickly resumes interrupted transfers
          UPnP support (WinXP only)
          Supports popular protocol extensions
          Localized to different languages
          Typical memory use less than 4 MB
          Incredibly small: 96 KB
    • Shame on me for R'ing TFA, but:

      The first real world test of whether the principles would work on any large scale came in 2003, when open-source software company Red Hat released its Red Hat Linux 9 operating system. Demand for the product was so strong that downloaders crippled Red Hat's servers. Eike Frost, a computer science student at Germany's University of Oldenburg, however, had managed to get a copy. He ran it through BitTorrent, then posted a link to popular tech site Slashdot, inviting folks to co

    • by zerocool^ (112121) on Monday October 17, 2005 @09:49PM (#13813716) Homepage Journal
      Not to mention - the technology is so phenomenal, and yet executed so beautifully, that it takes the breath away.

      For years, most of us have been thinking "The more people downloading the file, the slower it goes for every user", and have been trying to solve this delima.

      Bram looked at the problem and said, "What if... the more people downloading the file, the faster it went?" And then he coded it.

      I understand the technology, but I'm still in awe of its seeming ability to just shrug off the confines of the known universe in order to solve the problem. It's like someone walking into Boeing and saying, "Hey, instead of building these planes to carry people... what if gravity pulled people upward?" and then proceeded to make it happen.

      This is the programming revolution of the decade, mark my prophetic words - BitTorrent and subsequent derivative technologies will be the biggest thing to happen to information technology this decade. If it doesn't awe you, you're just too jaded.

      ~Will
    • "It's all about the community - what Bram did was to unify the community into donating bandwidth through BitTorrent, and that's what makes it so special"

      Braham also shows the power of certain aspects of socialism, i.e. everyone doing their part to help everyone else, everyone does better when EVERYONE does better.
  • Ummm (Score:4, Interesting)

    by cached (801963) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:41PM (#13812376)
    I don't mean to troll, but given that he has Asperger's Syndrome, should it not be in his best interest to give the job of CEO to somebody who is more charismatic (in the sense that he can communicate exactly what people will want to hear), in an attempt to gain extra customers?
    • Re:Ummm (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:52PM (#13812451)
      It's important to note that it's a self-diagnosis, not a medical one.
    • by MacFury (659201) <me@@@johnkramlich...com> on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:52PM (#13812456) Homepage
      He developed something unique and functional. If someone else takes over the company, they will probably just not "Get it"

      Besides, CEO's of american companies are usually in it for the quick buck and end up screwing over the company they work for and all of it's workers. One CEO of a rather large company, forget his name...well...he presided over the company while its stock plumetted 20%, took a massive severence package and ended up making $54,000 an hour when it was all said and done. The average yearly salary of his employees...$35,000.

    • by nkh (750837)
      I've read that his syndrom was self-diagnosed. Whatever the truth is, AS does not seem to be a huge communication problem for him if you compare him with other aspergers.
    • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:54PM (#13812472) Homepage
      Why should he hand over his title to some facist punk that will bank on his hard earned work. He's the brilliant guy that came up with this, he should run the company as he sees fits. Sometimes it's not about profit, but about ideals and vision.
      • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Insightful)

        by thesandtiger (819476)

        Why should he hand over his title to some facist punk that will bank on his hard earned work. He's the brilliant guy that came up with this, he should run the company as he sees fits. Sometimes it's not about profit, but about ideals and vision.


        Yeah - because when someone has ideals and vision and doesn't care about profits, they DEFINITELY wanna hook up with venture financing people. I hear those big money guys are all about dreams and couldn't give a fuck about profits.
      • Why should he hand over his title to some facist punk that will bank on his hard earned work. He's the brilliant guy that came up with this, he should run the company as he sees fits. Sometimes it's not about profit, but about ideals and vision.

        Ownership and management authority are two entirely different things. If he hires a CEO, who says he needs to give any ownership of the company over to him? In fact he probably would give the CEO some stock, but that is absolutely not the same thing as selling out to

    • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Karma_fucker_sucker (898393) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:59PM (#13812518)
      but given that he has Asperger's Syndrome, should it not be in his best interest to give the job of CEO to somebody who is more charismatic

      The job of a CEO is to provide direction and strategy for an organization. I would say that maybe he needs a PR person. He seems to be doing quite well as the CEO.

      The other thing that has me thinking - who diagnosed his illness?
      I've met quite a few people who said that they had various illnesses. When I asked them about the diagnosis and what the physician (or some other qualified expert) said, they don't say anything about an expert diagnosis: just something vague. I don't know about him, but I think a lot of folks use popular illnesses as an excuse for their own shortcomings or as an excuse for not doing something that they're not interested in doing.

      Forgive my spelling, but I have spellexia.

      • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Informative)

        by MoggyMania (688839) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:25PM (#13812696) Homepage Journal
        Aspergers isn't an illness -- it's a neurodevelopmental disorder on the autism spectrum. It's also not "shortcomings" to be designed to do things differently than most people.

        According to experts on autism Baron-Cohen, Atwood, and Wing, people identifying as being on the autism spectrum are accurate 99% of the time, because the internal characteristics are so striking. They can include severe sensory sensitivity, extreme motor clumsiness, weak or lacking depth perception, difficulty speaking (often with loss of speech under stress), extreme difficulty changing from one task to the other even if we want to, native use of different (autistic) body language that is incompatible with that of non-autistics, having multiple senses report one sense's information (like seeing colors for sounds)...

        A LOT of stuff that comes nowhere near the neurotypical experience, and that we're aware is different long before we can name it.

        Speaking as the moderator of three of the largest online discussion groups for adults on the spectrum, plus having been heavily involved in the community for four years now, I can pretty much verify their claim. Out of the many hundreds of people that have joined thinking that they're AS, I can only offhand think of one clearly that was obviously wrong, and two or three where I was uncertain.

        Also, I can't imagine why anybody would *want* to claim they're one of us if they aren't. It doesn't get us out of anything that isn't obviously a meltdown-inducing problem (plus rarely even then), we're subject to constant criticism based on our differences or what we are... I'm proud to be autistic, but I hate the prejudice I encounter.
        • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          "Also, I can't imagine why anybody would *want* to claim they're one of us if they aren't."

          You'd be surprised.

          While it may not be present (or at least prevalent) in your circles, it's rather "popular" for teens to claim to have some kind of disorder. Whether it's Aspergers, dyslexia, bipolar, depression, schizophrenia, OCD. I've seen threads on sites like deviantART dedicated to things like "What kind of mental problem do you have?" and the post numbers are in the thousands, with people claiming to have
        • Re:Ummm (Score:4, Insightful)

          by still_sick (585332) on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:54PM (#13813174)
          For a while, whenever a similar story would come up - there would be a myriad of posts ala "I like technology and am socially awkward, therefore I must have Aspergers!".

          Why would they make the claim? Probably it gives them an "excuse". It's no longer "their fault" that they're clueless when talking to people.

          Of course one post on Slashdot does not equate to seeking out and joining one of your groups. I have no doubt that your claim is true.
          • Why would they make the claim? Probably it gives them an "excuse". It's no longer "their fault" that they're clueless when talking to people.
            What else does "syndrome" mean? It's the word for a bag of symptoms, with or without implying any particular cause.
        • According to experts on autism Baron-Cohen, Atwood, and Wing, people identifying as being on the autism spectrum are accurate 99% of the time

          It's hard to believe any clinical studies when Ali G is involved.

        • having multiple senses report one sense's information (like seeing colors for sounds)

          Wait a minute here...what does synaesthesia have to do with autism? They're two completely different things.
        • It's also not "shortcomings" to be designed to do things differently than most people.

          Uh, no. Just because you can do some things better that normal people, doesn't mean Aspies have no shortcomings. You've listed a bunch yourself, look:

          ...the internal characteristics are so striking. They can include severe sensory sensitivity, extreme motor clumsiness, weak or lacking depth perception, difficulty speaking (often with loss of speech under stress), extreme difficulty changing from one task to the

      • You don't have spellexia you're just lacking empathy.

        Now go and look up dyslexia you ignorant fool.
    • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Informative)

      by AsmCoder8088 (745645)
      Asperger's Syndrome, for those who don't know what it is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asperger's_Syndrome [wikipedia.org]
    • by King_TJ (85913)
      For one thing, I think Asperger's Syndrome is a very real condition, but the jury's still out on whether or not it just describes a variation of normal behavior, or whether it's something worthy of considering as a "mental illness" - implying a need for treatment.

      The simple description of "a mild form of autism" leaves it pretty wide open to describe a whole spectrum of behaviors. But the condition interested me, personally, only because I realized that I probably have it myself after reading enough about
      • by Deluge (94014)
        "In the case of BT's creator, it seems to me like the guy is following the same path I did - and I'd predict his days of intensely focused, marathon coding sessions are nearly over. (He got married, etc.)"

        Marathon coding sessions are not a symptom of Asperger's. If that were the case you'd hear a lot more people whining about being afflicted with this condition.

        If anything, Coen is a hypochondriac, because let's face facts, anyone who can get married, have a kid, go out and meet some bigshot CEO for drinks
    • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Informative)

      by eln (21727) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:04PM (#13812544) Homepage
      Asperger's lies on the Autism Spectrum. However, the Autism Spectrum is extraordinarily vast, ranging all the way from barely impaired to completely nonfunctional. Most geeks are probably somewhere on the spectrum, they just aren't severe enough to consider getting tested. Since this guy is self-diagnosed, it's impossible to tell where on the spectrum he is. Most Asperger's people have perfectly normal lives, and can learn to be great communicators with training.

      In my Management class last semester, we had a few CEOs of local companies come in. One said he had always been extremely introverted and technical (Asperger's? Possibly), but had learned to overcome it to an extent. As long as he could have his required periods of downtime by himself, he could handle the day to day CEO duties, including the public and social aspects.

      A person with Asperger's is not necessarily retarded, and in some ways can be profoundly gifted. In my mind, someone with the analytical frame of mind that most Asperger's people have is the perfect candidate for a CEO position, which is concerned mainly with long-term strategy.
    • It might be interesting to see how a company does when it's run by somebody who tells his customers exactly how things really are without any sugar coating, rather than a typical lying bastard. I for one would be delighted to find myself dealing with a company like that.
    • Re:Ummm (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Moofie (22272)
      Since he is a grown-up, don't you think he's capable of making his own decisions about who he wants to have running his company?
    • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Informative)

      by vertinox (846076)
      I don't mean to troll, but given that he has Asperger's Syndrome, should it not be in his best interest to give the job of CEO to somebody who is more charismatic (in the sense that he can communicate exactly what people will want to hear)

      Balmer, Fiona, or Gates were neither charismatic nor said things I wanted to hear...
    • There are reasons to think that Asperger's Syndrome has some good to the bad. [wikipedia.org]

      Don't forget the list of famous people who could have been (are?) autistic. I don't see it holding any of these people back. [wikipedia.org]

    • Re:Ummm (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jozer99 (693146) on Monday October 17, 2005 @07:06PM (#13812923)
      Sometimes fame outweighs charisma. If Linus hadn't invented linux, do you honestly think he would be a spokesperson for Transmetia?
  • by Vvornth (828734) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:49PM (#13812431) Homepage
    I can picture all the recorded media company execs getting together in small cabals, swapping stories on ways they'd like to kill Bram Cohen.
    • I can picture all the software company execs getting together in small cabals, swapping stories on ways they'd like to fucking kill Bram Cohen. (And Google.)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:49PM (#13812432)
    I may be a good way to share files, but I'm afraid the investors are throwing their money away. It's like trying to make money off of FTP.

  • Worth (Score:4, Insightful)

    by squoozer (730327) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:49PM (#13812437)

    How can this company be worth 8.75 million. What does it do that is worth that much a year? As far as I can see nothing. The only "product" it has it gives away for free. If it started charging a dozen open source versions would appear in it's place. Even if they didn't the system can be copied by others for virtually nothing. What is it with these really high value estimations?

    • Re:Worth (Score:2, Funny)

      by LordSnooty (853791)
      Hey man, those PayPal donations sure mount up! Once you've paid the fees.
    • Re:Worth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:53PM (#13812467)
      What is it with these really high value estimations?

      That's just the dollar value of how much capital investment the company has received. Obviously someone thinks the company has potential, just because you are not privy to their business plans doesn't mean that the plans are not feasible.
      • just because you are not privy to their business plans doesn't mean that the plans are not feasible

        I remember wondering out loud how furniture.com would ever make money. How big was the market for people that buy furniture sight unseen?

        I was told that a) I didn't understand the "new economy" and b) I just didn't know their business plan, and, if I did, it would all make sense, because why would smart investors throw money at a bad idea.

        furniture.com went belly-up. Sometimes the outsider's view is bett

    • The company is actually worth much more, considering that $8.75M is the amount that VCs have recently invested.
    • Re:Worth (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Thud457 (234763)
      Stone soup.

      He's the Russian soldier that comes into the village and coordinates everybody for the common good.

    • Re:Worth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mochan_s (536939) on Monday October 17, 2005 @05:58PM (#13812512)

      How can this company be worth 8.75 million

      When Fortune magazine runs a story on the CEO.

      The name BitTorrent is alone worth that. This is a name millions and millions of people know - it would take more than $8.75 million dollars to achieve that through advertising.

      • Re:Worth (Score:2, Informative)

        by winkydink (650484) *
        If I've told you once, I've told you a billion times to not exaggerate.

        I think millions and millions is really overstating it. Sure, everybody in the /. community knows about it. That does not consitute millions and millions.
        • Re:Worth (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by DoorFrame (22108)
          What's the highest Slashdot UID these days?
        • Re:Worth (Score:3, Informative)

          by asavage (548758)
          Right now there are 600,000 people running Azureus. There are probably over 3 Million active users. This is just one of many Bit Torrent Clients. I wouldn't say millions and millions is an exaggeration.
        • Re:Worth (Score:3, Informative)

          by ThousandStars (556222)
          Well, the article says that 45 million people have downloaded Bittorrent. It doesn't cite a source, but I'd imagine it means the offical client downloads. Plenty of other people download clients from other sources -- Azureus from Sourcefoge comes to mind -- so the real number may be much, much higher. Still, even if it isn't, and 45 million includes a lot of duplicates, I wouldn't be surprised if a few million people know what Bittorrent is. Certainly at least a few of my non-geek friends, the same ones who
      • re: The name BitTorrent is alone worth that. This is a name millions and millions of people know - it would take more than $8.75 million dollars to achieve that through advertising.

        sure, after all, look at what all that name recognition did for Napster 2.0

    • I think Bittorrent is planning to team up with content distributors of all types, and develop "official" systems for various networks to deliver content to their subscribers. The value, I think, lies in the fact that Bittorrent can help content distributors secure their content, which is something that, AFAIK, free Bittorrent doesn't currently do well (short of obscurity). If Bittorrent can come up with a way to help film distributors deliver movies online without them being pirated, or do a better versio
      • bittorrent's current network model is as secure as a bank with open doors and no guards.

        actually, after investigating the software piece itself, i was pretty much disappointed. no magic ultra glitchy moves, lousy protocol based on lousy ideas. even no attempt to use the possibilites of udp. (unlike tcp, most firewalls allow udp outgoing connections to any port and later let incoming packages in (from the same socket) from anywhere in the network, thus efficiently enabling penetrating your firewall securely
    • by chill (34294)
      BitTorrent has pretty much a lock on the "real large file" distribution market. What other way is there that you can easily and quickly grab files ranging in size from hundres of megabytes to gigabytes?

      BitTorrent has the technology and the name recognition. Hollywood really wants to move to digital distribution method but has two problems: security and efficiency. BitTorrent mostly solves the efficiency part very nicely.

        -Charles
      • Re:Worth (Score:3, Funny)

        by thrillseeker (518224)
        What other way is there that you can easily and quickly grab files ranging in size from hundres of megabytes to gigabytes?

        Never underestimate the bandwidth of a Fedex truck full of Blu-Rays.

    • It's worth that for selling its services to other companies, plus the ever-important Branding bonus (from so many people knowing about BitTorrent).

      They can be hired for expert support in embedding torrent functionality in other products... like automated patching for MMORPGs, net-enabled game consoles, and, I don't know, lots of other things. Any net-connected device that involves large numbers of machines needing big-ish chunks of data every now and then, which the provider doesn't want to front all the ba
  • by adavies42 (746183) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:05PM (#13812552)
    In the very last paragraph, it mentions Bram dropping by an old Bell Labs friend to talk about "satisfiability testing". If they're talking about 3SAT, does this mean he's working on P-NP?
  • there's always been smart people who can do complex topological analysis in their head but can't balance their checkbook

    likewise, there have always been people whose minds always flit from one subject to the next every second- in other words, attention deficit disorder

    but now we have these buzzwords, asperpgers and ADD and others, and people think its some miraculous discovery, and its all they talk about and they act like it explains all sorts of behavior

    but it's just a fad, and meanwhile, the conditions have always been there, always will be there, and those who have these conditions are no more special or less special than the rest of us

    cohen is a smart guy, and he can concentrate on a complex math problem, and he likes to do it, that's all, that's it

    i'm just so sick of everyone jumping on the buzzword bandwagon, it doesn't mean anything

    there once was a time in the 1800s when everyone thought phrenology was the end-all explanation of character and intelligence

    it's long forgotten, like the racist pseudoscience it was

    meanwhile, in a hundred years, when our language and our attention isn't controlled by the marketing department of large pharmaceutical companies, our hypochondriacal way of looking at our mental differences will have moved onto the next stupid fad
    • by hkb (777908) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:30PM (#13812731)
      Why is this marked as troll? Cohen goes on about his "SELF-DIAGNOSED" Asperger's in every single fucking interview about him. He's never been diagnosed by someone qualified, like oh, say a doctor.

      God it was stupid and pathetic the first time, and each successive mention just compounds the stupidity.

      He wrote Bit Torrent, he didn't create the world in 6 days.
    • Right, these clusters of behaviors and conditions that we've identified and labelled and which you even admit to existing, have no meaning. It's all just part of life's rich tapestry, and that's that.

      Similarly, there's no such thing as planets, stars, moons, etc; there's just clusters of matter with various characteristics and states that tend to occur together throughout the observed universe -- the labels we've applied to them are meaningless buzzwords, and in 100 years we'll have moved on to the next st
    • but now we have these buzzwords, asperpgers and ADD and others, and people think its some miraculous discovery, and its all they talk about and they act like it explains all sorts of behavior

      Yep. Tabloid TV here in .au periodically runs an article about uncontrollable kids with ADD. The article invariable features a family in a quiet street in the suburbs with kids running riot and parents who obviously just want their kids to collapse in front of the TV. Its not going to happen. Those kids want to be in t

  • by BewireNomali (618969) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:12PM (#13812597)
    ... but an undereducated, socially-crippled, obsessive-compulsive, uncouth geek found a fertile, viable woman to not only marry him, but bear him child thricefold...

    dude is just getting his license. this is far more amazing than bittorrent and deserves its own thread.

    does anyone know if she's hot?
  • by Work Account (900793) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:21PM (#13812665) Journal
    Bram Cohen, congratulations on your accomplisments.

    May you continue to live a productive and happy life and continue offering innovative and hopefully open source software.

    Let this serve as encouragement to all of us: with desire, dedication, brains, a computer, and Internet access, anything is achievable.

    Do what you do best; for most of us this is coding!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ah. The Barbara Walters of business magazines. You want a puff piece, read Fortune. You want news, read Business Week or the Wall Street Journal or even the Economist.

  • I wish him luck (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SimplyBen (898147) on Monday October 17, 2005 @06:39PM (#13812793)
    As a founder of a funded startup myself I hope he suceeds, but statistically he won't. Maybe i'm alone here, but i'm having a hardtime envisioning the business model of such a company (and doubt his ability to lead it to profitability). Sure bittorrent is a neat technology: but its just that a technology, and an open one too. It appears to be a long shot, and thats why funding came from venture capitalists. From most slashdotters POV i'm sure that sounds awesome until you realize what accepting venture capital is typically about: 90%+ stock takeovers with rider clauses allowing the investment firm first dibs on any money withdrawn from the company. I hope he hires someone to run the company that can translate whatever products he comes up with into something that can actually be sold.
    • Re:I wish him luck (Score:2, Insightful)

      by i7dude (473077)
      so...i dont want to sound like i'm arguing, cause i'm not...but could he base his entire business model around maturing a technology with the expectation that it would get bought from him at a price far beyond the value of the startup capital given to him?

      yes, its oversimplification; but it seems like something that is possible.

      dude.
    • Sure bittorrent is a neat technology: but its just that a technology, and an open one too.

      It would take a dozen good programmers, oh, about a week to set up an auction site. But do you think it'd take the "market" away from Ebay? Nope.

      First to market, with name recognition, etc. will be what makes or breaks this effort.

    • having a hardtime envisioning the business model of such a company

      His software distributes stuff more efficently than centralised systems. It therefore saves bandwidth (and consequently) money.

      World wide, distribution is a huge business. How about if MS give him a contract to distruibute software updates. A person could make money off that.

  • by IpSo_ (21711) on Monday October 17, 2005 @08:13PM (#13813270) Homepage Journal
    "In mid-October, Apple unveiled its long-rumored video iPod and started making some TV downloads and Pixar shorts available through its popular iTunes service. Navin says that the Google and Apple moves are both competition, but that BitTorrent's market will offer much more than just movies and TV shows. Plus, he speculates that Apple is paying "an astronomical price for bandwidth."

    For anyone big, bandwidth becomes more and more of a non-issue. Only the little guys actually pay a significant amount for it.

    Having worked for a web hosting company that went from small, averaging only 50mbits/sec in total, to over 800mbits/sec their overall bandwidth costs actually went DOWN. Why? Because once they started pushing over 100-200mbits/sec they could sign free, or next to free peering agreements with major Tier 1 providers. As long as you don't piss them off, and the agreement continues to be mutually benficial you get "free" bandwidth.

    I'm sure Apple and any other big players pay fractions of a cent on the dollar for bandwidth.

    I still believe Cohen's company can help out the little guys sell their wares, at least until they push enough bandwidth that it becomes cheaper to host the content themselves. I doubt you'll ever see Apple or the MPAA paying him money to host content though.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

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