Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Real-world open source business

Author:Eric Kidd
Posted:5/12/1999; 6:30:28 AM
Topic:Real-world open source business
Msg #:6078 (In response to 6076)
Prev/Next:6077 / 6079

Here's an interesting (and lengthy) post from Paul Everitt of Digital Creations, to a forum on Infoworld's site about open-source business models. (Seen on

They're the folks who do Zope.

Real-world open source businesses seem to work fairly well. Most of them are either integrators (like RedHat) or development and support companies (like Cygnus, which maintains gcc).

It's not the easiest business model in the world (I've tried it with a few consulting jobs), but it's not as hard as it sounds. The people who buy open source support contracts are the same folks who buy things like Frontier's enterprise edition. Economically speaking, you turn the low end of your market into free advertising, and provide the best service you can to your paying customers.

It's not always the most profitable approach in any given situation, but you really can do it with a bit of elbow grease.

Cheers, Eric

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