I recenty wrote, Open Source Needs A reality Check where I concluded that professional service firms and system integrators may make money out of services in such a scenario(maintenance and enhancement revenue streams) – this is theoretical as overdependence or overindulgence may take the sheen of open source ideals. It can be safely concluded that from a technology, economic and sociological perspective, there is no compelling reason for the open source model to succeed and become dominant. We can assume at best - a niche role for open source model in the IT industry. Some of my friends were not comforatable with what I wrote for a variety of reasons.
Bill Burnham writes Just about every start-up software company have some kind of open source angle to their story these days with business plans like:
1) We have developed a core piece of amazing software.
2) In an effort to make gullible, civic-minded developers around the world donate thousands of hours of free development time to our commercial enterprise we plan to declare that our amazing software is "open source".
3) After gullible developers have freely helped us build out a real application, we plan to commercialize "free" open source software to be wealthy through money for support and maintenance.
Some seem to believe that building a successful software company is simply a matter of changing their domain name from software.com to software.org, While developers could be interested in building operating systems, databases, app servers, and other core pieces of infrastructure software are high profile enough, intellectually challenging enough, and broad enough to attract a large following of open source developers (and serious corporate sponsorship). The application market with niche products may not have the same amount of pull to create a broad based community support that is critical the long term success of the project. As a result, their open source community will ultimately fade away and leave customers - some of these open source companies as their customers will have no choice but to contract with them for support and they will thus ultimately end up looking like any other mature enterprise software company. It is in this way that I think Open Source is really just becoming a marketing gimmick for many start-up companies. I totally agree.
Category : Opensource