Ben Langhinrichs

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Genii Weblog


Civility in critiquing the ideas of others is no vice. Rudeness in defending your own ideas is no virtue.


Sun 23 Jan 2011, 08:51 AM
Imagine that there is a new software package that would solve some major problems for your company.  Vendor A has a solution which looks perfect at an awesome price, but the product won't be available for six months.  Vendor B has a different solution which looks equally awesome with a price that is higher, but the product is shipping and available today.  I deal with similar issues all the time when talking to customers about our products, especially CoexEdit (seamless rich text editing in both client and web) and the Midas Rich Text LSX (powerful rich text manipulation and rendering).  Does a customer wait for IBM to (maybe) incorporate this kind of HTML fidelity and programming power into Lotus Notes/Domino, where it would cost nothing extra, or does the customer pay a bit more to get products that are working now, and have been for years and years.  The success of both products around the world speaks for itself.

But that same price vs. availability plays out in other places, and sometimes it is not so obvious which choice you are making.  For example, the two most popular books on Android development are Hello, Android: Introducing Google's Mobile Development Platform and The Android Developer's Cookbook: Building Applications with the Android SDK (Developer's Library).  Both look excellent.  Look at the books as sold by Amazon US, Amazon UK and Amazon Germany.


But there is a huge difference that you won't realize if you just look at the prices and the features.  In the United States, the Hello, Android book says that it will ship within One to three Months, while in the UK and Germany, it is in stock and will ship immediately.  The exact opposite is true of the Android Developer's Cookbook, which is in stock and shipping immediately in the United States but shipping in One to Three Months in Germany and One to Two Months in the UK.

Price vs. Availability.  Choose wisely.

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