It seems that like the economy, the IBM i market has lost its middle class.
In the old days, a company would startup and push some software for $2000 to $50,000 and sell them pretty well. Sometime just one each week, but often as high as one per day.
Today, unless you're a legacy IBM i shop or a very high-end shop with IBM i ingrained in your infrastructure, it seems like there is no IBM i market.
Sure you have some legacy tools that people continue to use, but for the most part, I only hear about people living off of Software Maintenance Contracts--new sales are all outside the IBM i market. And certainly software upgrades and even systems administration seem to be on the rise but paying the company you bought the system from, to do an upgrade doesn't seem to me like a glowing (yes "glowing") market.
While we have probably the strongest inertia of any IT platform, I begin to wonder how long a market that in 2013 is barely larger than it was in 1983 can last. Sure it'll last "long enough for me to get mine" as seems to be theme of the baby boomer generation, but is it really that dead out there?
In the old days, a software company could send out 20,000 snail mails and sell to 1 percent. If it was a lower-cost product (under $1,000) often you'd sell to 3 to 5 percent.
Today, if you send out 20,000 emails, you may not sell anything.
I bring this up because it is different from even 10 years ago--while people were moving off IBM i (or whatever it was called back then) they were still spending money on software to solve their problems. Today, not so much.
The motto seems to be "If it ain't working so well, but gets us through the day, its good enough."