Which Open Source Business Models May Be Considered Harmful? #OpenSource #History
Via John Mark on Medium, in recent months, the debate on so-called “open source business models” has begun to rage once again.
To be clear, there are a variety of ways to capitalize on open source software in a commercial setting, but there is no separate open source business model, and to pursue such is to possibly limit your future success.
Mark describes various companies who have looked to turn open source into a company revenue stream, where many fail but several find the niche. In one phase, thriving open source communities were relegated to non-existence by companies, with fatal results.
Open core 1.0 was a great way to squelch a developer community and prevent innovation. In exchange for giving up a more open approach, these startups were supposed to be able to profit from the commercialization of the software to create a self-sustaining relationship between community and company. But a funny thing happened: by treating the community as a means of transitioning freeloaders into paying customers, these communities often withered. And because these companies had often built their entire business model around thriving, growing communities, the lack of community success translated into disappointing sales and revenue.
Creating a vibrant shared community builds value to the entire project!
Start with the question “how can I deliver value for customers” and work backward from that. Then piece together the open source components you’ll need for your ultimate solutions that deliver value and construct your software supply chain.
The point is you can make that choice without the baggage of “let’s monetize ‘X’”. You’ll be much happier with your choice.
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