[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Edlug Archive Mar 2004 ]

[edlug] RE: FOSS business models [was Big blue v Big poo]

Peter George wrote:

> 1. Create Open Source software, release under GPL or other.
> 2. Promote and market your product.
> 3. Charge for bespoke installation and suport.

The above sounds simple, but I'd be surprised if it actually happens
that often.  I believe a far more common occurence is:

1. Be in some business OTHER than software.
   (Perhaps some sort of service or content provider).
2. Decide you need some piece of software. 
3. Develop said software in-house and use it.
   (and this is where it ends for most in-house software.
   BTW, note that most of the world's software developments IS
   in-house and not shrink-wrapped apps).
4. Briefly consider trying to make money from the software.
   But you're NOT IN THE SOFTWARE BUSINESS: it would be a risky
   venture and can't really justify the effort needed to polish it
   up, make it more general, market it and support it.
5. Decide that the benefit from having your competitors
   (who probably need said software as much as you do) working
   on the code outweighs the threat of them acquiring it for free.
   Remember, you're NOT in the software business!  Your customers
   use you in preference to your competitors because of your quality
   of service, not because of some piece of software you happen to use.
6. Release code under GPL.  Everyone jumps on the bandwagon and
   your code becomes de-facto industry standard.  (I'll conveniently
   ignore the more likely outcome that simply no-one cares).
7. Get on with running your non-software business and keeping your
   service customers happy.  That software project you started off
   just seems to keep getting better and better all by itself with
   minimal effort by you.

Tim Day
Senior Software Engineer
Voxar Limited
Edinburgh - Corporate Headquarters | Boston
Bonnington Bond, 2 Anderson Place, Edinburgh EH6 5NP, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 131 472 4792 Fax: +44 (0) 131 472 4799
Email: tim.day@xxx.xxx.xxx Web: www.voxar.com
Registered in Scotland No. 145641 Registered Office as above.

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