Open Source Business Models

There is once again a lot of fuzz going on about Open Source Business models,

First on my eyballs was the article that Customers don't seem to like openCore what a big surprise ..

So that's not the one that makes the customers happy ,

Then there is the other side of the coin, the people that create open source
Authors realize the dual licensing model comes hunting back at you after a merger or a hostile acquisition, yes they still have the source code to build on but they can't sell commercial licenses to their customers anymore they way they used to.

So that's not the one that eventually makes the authors happy,

Then there is the RedHat model, which tends to please a lot of people, which tends to be something traditional IT resellers can take in their portofolio, but partnering with a RedHat style company as an open source expert consultancy company isn't easy , as the expert consultancy companies have the knowledge themselves and won't push reselling subscriptions.

So that doesn't make the Distribution Vendors happy

Back when XenSource came on the market we asked them if they could help us supporting some of our customers with Xen deployments, they didn't care they wanted to build a product and a fast exit ..

That didn't make us as an integrator nor the customer happy.

You'd think us opensource folks are really unhappy wouldn't you ?
Wrong.. as we are all in it .. Just for Fun

and the money!


Ed Daniel's picture

#2 Ed Daniel : Approach and method

Just wondering if you had a chance to catch this and what your opinion of it was...

Matt Casters's picture

#3 Matt Casters : Lazy river

A lazy river is a water park attraction where you get slowly pushed around in a circle by a gentle current. Discussions like "The best open source business model" is another lazy river that keeps going round and round without ever getting anywhere.

What is important to remember that a client is 100% happy if he receives 100% of the functionality for 0% of the closed source price. With open core, you basically give the customer the idea that he can get that until you actually quote him for a 20% of the closed source price. And if he wants open source, it's only 80% of the functionality. So that in itself (IMHO) causes frustrations and obviously customers don't like that situation.

That being said, in most situations, the commercial open source (& open core) companies around do tend to release an awful lot of code into the open on a continuous bases. Also keep in mind that it's hard to compare an OS and middle-ware company like RedHat with for example, a highly specialized one or even one like Pentaho in the BI space. An operating system is quickly becoming a commodity, like a web or DNS server. Most other software isn't there yet.

In any case, nobody has the definitive answer yet, because most of these models haven't been really tested enough to draw any conclusions.

But for sure, they do make great lazy rivers...