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Displaying posts with tag: Business models (reset)
The golden age of open source?

Stephen O’Grady and Simon Phipps have both recently published interesting posts on the current state of open source, with Stephen pondering the relative growth of open source and Simon wondering whether the “commercial open source” bubble has burst.

What they are describing, I believe, is the culmination of the trends we predicted at the beginning of 2009 for commercial open source business strategies – specifically the arrival of the fourth stage of commercial open source.

What is the fourth stage of commercial open source? In short: a return to a focus on collaboration and …

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The open core issue (part two)

In the first part of this post I discussed the underlying division that drives the debate about open core, and the futility of arguing about what constitutes an “open source company” without any relevant definition.

Since then Monty Widenius has proposed a definition that would exclude any company that does not produce open source software (including open source support providers) and any company that does not provide access to 100% of its code (which would often exclude Red Hat as it moves to open source acquired code).

In the meantime others have declared that there is no such thing as an open source company and …

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So if I don't call myself 'open source vendor', then everything is fine? (yes)

A lot has been written for and against open core now. Yet in the end, a couple tweets can catch all that is needed:

scurryn @h_ingo -- So as long as 'an open core vendor' doesn't call themselves 'an open source vendor' then everything's fine?

h_ingo @scurryn: pretty much. I think I owe everyone one more blog post to answer that question with a few more details.


This is that blog post.

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If you're selling to your community... you've got it backwards.

My ongoing dialogue with Matthew Aslett inspired me to read more of his recent writings. An excellent piece Do not sell anything to your community is based on a blog post by Stephen Walli.

Inspired by Stephen, I also looked into a set of slides I recently created and will try that style for this post...

Aslett and Stephen make a great point:

the conversion of community users into paying customers has long been a concern for open source-related vendors. It has also long been a source of friction, with vendors that offer proprietary extensions being accused of “bait and switch” or otherwise undermining the value of the open source software in an attempt compel community …

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Open core is not open source and don't trust someone trying to convice you otherwise

Oh my. I was outside painting my house for a few days, and when I return back online I discover that now everyone is having an opinion on the open core business model. Since some participants are still trying to promote it as a valid open source business model, let's see what everyone is saying and highlight any pitfalls being offered...

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Open core is not open source

Julie Bort of has an interview with Mårten Mickos of Eucalyptus, formerly of MySQL. In MySQL times it seemed (to me at least) that most users never realized Mårten and his management team were taking MySQL increasingly into a closed source direction. (Maybe I'm just stupid myself, but at least personally I had not noticed this until after I started working for the company.) In this interview Mårten at least comes squarely out of the closet and is defending the model.

Julie makes a good journalistic effort of reporting on the topic from a neutral point of view. Alas, sometimes that approach just makes things fuzzier. So let me try to make one thing clear: Open core may be a good business model, but open core is not open …

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Book on Finnish startups includes chapter on MySQL AB

Tekes, a Finnish government agency funding R&D in Technology and Innovation (including MariaDB) has recently published a book on Finnish startups, (PDF), which contains a whole chapter on MySQL AB.

It seems to be a well researched chapter and references many past interviews over the years, as well as being based on interviews of at least Mårten, Monty and Kevin Harvey of Benchmark. This is the most comprehensive narrative I've ever seen of items like "InnoDB Friday", a phrase I thought until now was company confidential, since talking about it would have revealed there was something negative about the day Oracle …

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Let he who is without proprietary features cast the first stone

If the recent debate about open core licensing has proven one thing, it is that the issue of combining proprietary and open source code continues to be a controversial one.

It ought to be simple: either the software meets the Open Source Definition or it does not. But it is not always easy to tell what license is being used, and in the case of software being delivered as a service, does it matter anyway?

The ability to deliver software as a hosted service enables some companies that are claimed to be 100% open source to offer customers software for which the source code is not available. Coincidentally, James Dixon has this week highlighted one …

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Please break our open source business strategy model

Last week I presented “From support services to software services – the evolution of open source business strategies” at the OSBC event in San Francisco.

The presentation was effectively a work in progress update on our research into the various strategies employed by technology vendors to generate revenue from open source software.

It included a partial explanation of my theory that those strategies do not exist in isolation, but are steps on an evolutionary process, and also introduced our model for visualizing the core elements of an open source-related business strategy.

I provided a number of examples of how the model could be used to compare the strategies of various open source businesses. …

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Dual of denial, on the success and failure of dual licensing

There’s been a fair amount of attention – both positive and negative – on dual licensing in recent weeks. A few days ago Brian Aker wrote: “The fact is, there are few, and growing fewer, opportunities to make money on dual licensing.”

It is a sweeping statement, but one that is worth further consideration, especially since, as Stephen O’Grady noted it is directly contradicted by Gartner’s prediction that: “By 2012, at least 70% of the revenue from commercial OSS will come from vendor-centric projects with dual-license business models.”


I remember reading this prediction back in December but dismissing it as …

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