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The Latest in Open Source Heresy

This article tells it pretty straight. Best quote comes from an OSS inner-circle member:

‘It costs a huge amount of money to develop a single innovative software product. You have to have a business model that will let you recoup those costs. These arguments are exceedingly unpopular. Everyone wants everything to be free. They say, ‘You’re an evil corporate guy, and you don’t get it.’ But I’m not evil. I’m well-known in the open source community. But none of them can show me how to build a software-development house and fund it off open source revenue. My claim is it can’t be done.’

Interesting perspective to chew on, and sure to cause some debate.


3 Responses

  1. oss inner circle member? mcvoi always was a proprietary man. that he let oss guys use his product for free (and publicity) doesn’t make him an oss expert…

  2. It costs a huge amount of money to build a proprietary application, and it’s cheaper to build an open-source applicatoin, but there’s no guarantee that either will be innovative. There’s plenty of non-innovative closed-source products out there, and plenty of innovative work being done in open source (Mozilla, Beagle, Muine, FSpot, Evolution, Hula…)

    As Nat pointed out some time ago, the question isn’t “What’s the business model for open source software” but “what’s the business model for software?”

    Yeah, it’s hard to make money from open source software– but at some point, it’s going to get just as hard to make money from proprietary software. At some point, I imagine, we’re going see a lot of software-in-a-box businesses turn into service businesses where software is the tool, just like the hammers and wrenches a plumber shows up with. I don’t pay for the software in a box, I pay for someone to come in, set up my IT organization, run it, and leave me alone.

  3. I still don’t get the big idea behind OSS – for developers.
    The previous commentator wrote:
    “Yeah, it’s hard to make money from open source software– but at some point, it’s going to get just as hard to make money from proprietary software”. This doesn’t make sense – he is saying that ‘software developers should not be paid for writing software’. OK, I dig that – but then, how many developers WANT to be in the services industry? most of my geeky friends (no comment about myself….) do not shine in the social skills that make good consulatants, nor do they want to. they want to write software.

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