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Symbolics Germany prices

    Date: Tue, 27 Aug 1991 10:17 EDT
    From: %nrb.be%mcsun.EU.net@Warbucks.AI.SRI.COM

    Date: Tue, 27 Aug 91 16:16+0100
    From: Vincent Keunen <keunen@milou.nrb.be>
    Subject: Symbolics Germany prices
    cc: uucp%"info-mcl@cambridge.apple.com"@nrbv01, eric@milou.nrb.be
    Message-ID: <19910827151626.1.KEUNEN@milou.nrb.be>
	      Date: Mon, 26 Aug 91 13:37 CDT
	      From: Shepard@MCKENZIE.S&C.Dialnet.Symbolics.COM (Tom Shepard)
	      It all depends on how long you intend to be programming, or how long
	      management intends to stay in business.  If management only makes
	      decisions based on absolute cost, maybe they don't know how to make
	      Return-On-Investment calculations.  
    Our company is doing well, thank you (it's not because of the symbolics
    we have, though).  Still, our management (which is also taking the
    decisions for the other parts of the company that bring money, ie
    IBM9000 & so on) doesn't fully agree/understand your simple formulas...
    I agree the Genera environment is very good and I like it very much.
    However, it's still far from ideal, when I consider the *weeks* we
    spent debugging dna and recently cterm - just because Symbolics Germany
    doesn't even know what these packages are for...  But they know what
    software maintenance for dna is (in terms of DM I mean)...
    If Genera is better AND much more expensive; what's the big deal?
    Having a better environment for the *same* price - that would be much
    more appealing!  And wouldn't it allow Symbolics to get a critical
    market share, which it needs badly for lowering production costs?
    Now, in your formulas, just put these elements:
    - MacIvory + Genera = $38000
       (plus Macintosh price)
    - Macintosh Common Lisp = $400
       (plus Macintosh price)
    Now do you really think Genera + Ivory is worth 95 times MCL???
    MCL is definitely not as good as Genera, but it still is cltl2
    compatable (although beta), has good programming utilities (thru M. Kant
    work, notably, like defsystem, who-calls database, a metering system, a
    compare sources,...), a much better interface designer than Frame-up,
    access to Macintosh resources like the communication Toolbox for easy
    networking, a pretty good emacs-like editor, a good compiler (soon
    incremental), etc...
    Now do you *really* think Genera + Ivory is worth *95* times MCL???
Neither is worth anything unless you add the programmer and the
Macintosh. Without those two, MCL is worth $0 and is infinitely

I make this observation to illustrate that you have not asked the
appropriate question to determine the relative value of the two
alternatives to your business. When making a business assessment between
two alternatives, you must always consider ALL particulars of the
alternatives together. You can't just compare the costs of the two
products without also considering the costs of programming in the two

The question you should have asked is: is the cost of doing projects
with Genera plus the Macintosh plus a programmer less than doing the
same projects with MCL plus the Mac plus a programmer. A
mathematically equivalent way to state this is: is Genera worth $37,600
more than MCL?  If you are paying your programmers $50-100K per year,
and Genera makes them twice as productive, the answer would be yes: that
extra $37,600 would save $50-100K over a two-year period.
    Vincent Keunen