Subject: Re: What do you recommend?
From: Alberto Lepe <dev@alepe.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2009 10:17:26 +0900
Fri, 6 Mar 2009 10:17:26 +0900
Wow! I'm amazed with all the answers I got! thank you very very much to all
of you for taking your time to answer me!

The software license is GPLv3. But I think before doing anything else, I
will follow Michael Tiemann's advice (thank you for your detailed
explanation. I really admire you of what you have achieved). I will talk
with my boss and see if we can contact some Japanese companies...

After reading your comments I feel relief. Personally, I have some projects
that I have been planning for a while to release as OSS but I wasn't sure if
it was a good idea or not. I usually share my codes for free at my personal
web page (alepe.com) but never a formal OSS. I will be glad to do it soon,
now that I know there is no risk but opportunities in it.

Thank you again for all your time reading and anwering my post.

Please have a nice day!

Alberto Lepe.




On Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 12:11 AM, Cinly Ooi <cinly.ooi@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dear All,
>
>
>>  If we go with b), I'm aware that the product itself will improve and many
>>> more people will be more interested in it, which can help us to improve our
>>> popularity.
>>> However, any other Japanese company (with more resources) could get in,
>>> at any time, and sell the support taking us out of that bussiness...
>>
>>
>> That is a common fear, and I had that fear for a moment.  Then I realized
>> how the GPL protected me from a much larger company.  If LargeCompany
>> decided to provide their own version and support, the GPL prevents
>> LargeCompany from forbidding their customers from sharing their changes with
>> *you*.  Therefore, if LargeCompany adds their effort to your effort, your
>> own product and your own services become more valuable to customers that
>> know you best.  And LargeCompany potentially creates more customers who want
>> specialized services that LargeCompany cannot provide.
>>
>
> All customers are price-sensitive, but in software business this does not
> always mean the provider with the lowest price always wins, but the one
> providing the most value-for-money wins. Your challenge is therefore to
> provide the best value for money.
>
> In my experience, when I pay for open source software, I want the company
> to which I can throw all my problem to and they will resolve my problem in a
> timely manner. If I have more than one company to choose from, I will prefer
> to go to the company that has the most expertise with the software, even if
> it is more expensive than the rest but as long as it stays within my price
> range. It is virtually always true that the company higher up the developer
> tree has more expertise than the one below, therefore, I will always try to
> go as high up the tree as possible. After all, if I pay the other party and
> they cannot solve my problem, my boss is not going to be happy, since the
> company is in exactly the same position it would had been if we just
> download the software for free. I am sure I am not alone in thinking this
> way.
>
> There are always people who will not pay for your open source software and
> will prefer to go without they have to pay. They, by definition, are not
> your potential customers. There are always going to be customers that will
> always go for the lowest price.
>
> I would say the majority of the medium size companies (those that will be
> interested in 'buying' open source software) are competent enough to know
> that the expertise of the company they buy from is more important than the
> low price.
>
> Take Tiemann's advice and talk to other Japanese companies that has gone
> down the open source route. I am sure you will find them willing to advice
> you as long as you are not competing with them. I find that open source
> people are generally more open then proprietary source people. In any case
> there is no harm asking.
>
> Best Regards,
> Cinly
>


Wow! I'm amazed with all the answers I got! thank you very very much to all of you for taking your time to answer me!

The software license is GPLv3. But I think before doing anything else, I will follow Michael Tiemann's advice (thank you for your detailed explanation. I really admire you of what you have achieved). I will talk with my boss and see if we can contact some Japanese companies...

After reading your comments I feel relief. Personally, I have some projects that I have been planning for a while to release as OSS but I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not. I usually share my codes for free at my personal web page (alepe.com) but never a formal OSS. I will be glad to do it soon, now that I know there is no risk but opportunities in it.

Thank you again for all your time reading and anwering my post.

Please have a nice day!

Alberto Lepe.




On Fri, Mar 6, 2009 at 12:11 AM, Cinly Ooi <cinly.ooi@gmail.com> wrote:
Dear All,
 
If we go with b), I'm aware that the product itself will improve and many more people will be more interested in it, which can help us to improve our popularity.
However, any other Japanese company (with more resources) could get in, at any time, and sell the support taking us out of that bussiness...

That is a common fear, and I had that fear for a moment.  Then I realized how the GPL protected me from a much larger company.  If LargeCompany decided to provide their own version and support, the GPL prevents LargeCompany from forbidding their customers from sharing their changes with *you*.  Therefore, if LargeCompany adds their effort to your effort, your own product and your own services become more valuable to customers that know you best.  And LargeCompany potentially creates more customers who want specialized services that LargeCompany cannot provide.

All customers are price-sensitive, but in software business this does not always mean the provider with the lowest price always wins, but the one providing the most value-for-money wins. Your challenge is therefore to provide the best value for money.

In my experience, when I pay for open source software, I want the company to which I can throw all my problem to and they will resolve my problem in a timely manner. If I have more than one company to choose from, I will prefer to go to the company that has the most expertise with the software, even if it is more expensive than the rest but as long as it stays within my price range. It is virtually always true that the company higher up the developer tree has more expertise than the one below, therefore, I will always try to go as high up the tree as possible. After all, if I pay the other party and they cannot solve my problem, my boss is not going to be happy, since the company is in exactly the same position it would had been if we just download the software for free. I am sure I am not alone in thinking this way.

There are always people who will not pay for your open source software and will prefer to go without they have to pay. They, by definition, are not your potential customers. There are always going to be customers that will always go for the lowest price.

I would say the majority of the medium size companies (those that will be interested in 'buying' open source software) are competent enough to know that the expertise of the company they buy from is more important than the low price.

Take Tiemann's advice and talk to other Japanese companies that has gone down the open source route. I am sure you will find them willing to advice you as long as you are not competing with them. I find that open source people are generally more open then proprietary source people. In any case there is no harm asking.

Best Regards,
Cinly