In my lifetime, the software moguls I have known (blessedly few) are without a doubt the chintziest, cheapest, the greediest
people I've ever known. They take greed-ignited paranoia to great heights of stupidity, where $$$ is king and nothing else matters at all. Working for these often humorless people was never any fun, and the voraciousness of the greed is something you have to experience before you'd believe it. Ebeneezer Scrooge was a paragon of virtue, a real Boy Scout, compared with some of these guys, who often made the Clinton Foundation look like Saints by comparison! Many of them have trouble defining the difference between a ram chip and mouse, and regardless of how good a suggestion might be in terms of substantive improvement to an ongoing application development, the idea generally is that if it costs additional money then the suggestion itself is irrelevant. Once, I made the suggestion of approaching a given UI issue from the standpoint of the customer--as I always had one foot in the customer realm and the other in the developer realm--and it was as if I had come out of the closet as an Alien from Area 51--no joke...;) Cue to Serling's Twilight Zone intro track! Fortunately, all publishers/devs are not alike and there are some great people around, no question. If only there were a lot more...
I've heard the "We should charge by the hour" pitches, before, and it's nothing new, unfortunately. For those of you who remember SUN, oh, man, Scott McNealy had it all figured out with his doomed "Network Computer" schemes in which nobody had local control of his computing resources or programs, experiencing the "joy" of owning nothing, and people paid for their computing time like we pay for our electric utilities! Under McNealy's notions, whether a game or an application, we would all own only a dumb terminal, and everything else we would rent from the owners of the network (SUN, of course) by the hour! It was madness, and at the time I opposed it wholeheartedly in every forum possible for me to weigh in on. Scott McNealy was one of those ultra-greedy nitwits! His own greed destroyed his company, imo. SUN will not be the last such company to do itself in through mismanagement at the top. McNealy had it bad--the greed bug chowed down on him until there was nothing much left except the smelly residue of bad ideas. There's never enough money to satisfy these unimaginative creeple.
They always fail to apprehend that if not for the rare gem of a computer game emerging every now and then, a game that keeps customers and players enthralled for dozens if not hundreds of hours, the computer-game industry in the US would be a shadow of what it has become. Fortunately, the market selected for itself in every particular. As long as the industry is successful in making the miscreants pay for their greed, the computer gaming market will continue to grow--it has an amazing potential! Think about the last time you spent just 10 hours watching a single movie--regardless of quality or production budget. It's difficult enough to sit through a three-hour movie--the mind chafes against so much time spent passively absorbing a movie. But computer gaming is interactive--and therein lies the major difference. A game that involves the player and revolves around his choices and actions can easily keep a mind enthralled for hundreds of hours, etc. Computer games already cost far more than a movie ticket, and that's the way it should be because the game provides a lot more entertainment! But try and "charge by the hour" and watch how fast the game industry dries up and blows away. We don't pay by the hour for moves or books! So of course, it's an equally boneheaded idea for games, motivated by nothing apart from greed, imo, certainly.
It is well known that I cannot err--and so, if you should happen across an error in anything I have written you can be absolutely sure that *I* did not write it!...;)