Subject: Re: Paul Fremantle on Open Source Business
From: simo <s@ssimo.org>
Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 07:57:21 -0400

On Mon, 2010-05-24 at 20:38 +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
> Federico Lucifredi writes:
> 
>  > If there is no sustainable business advantage, the "antisocial" side may
>  > well win on money grounds alone. That is worth thinking about.
> 
> Sure, but what is that sustainable business advantage?
> 
> My point is that it's really hard to see what *sustainable* advantage
> is available to an open source business as defined by Fremantle,
> unless it's the moral high ground.  All development and licensing
> strategies available to an "open source business" are equally
> available to proprietary businesses on a case-by-case basis, as IBM,
> Sun, Oracle, and even Microsoft are proving.

The business advantages are 2 and are unique to a business that not only
provides code availability but is also very good at community building. 
So one advantage is what some people describe as "taking advantage of
the community", ie working with other people/companies on a common
project, therefore spreading risk and cost.

The other is the different kind of engagement with customers. If you can
involve them in helping shaping your products with strong feedback and
even collaboration on the development side you can win big, simply
because you can give them what they want, in a way they want it.

Merely releasing (dumping) some piece of software with a Free License,
does not magically create a development community. Without a community
it is basically just a marketing stunt.

Simo.