Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: Brian Behlendorf <brian@collab.net>
Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2002 12:35:36 -0800 (PST)

On Fri, 1 Nov 2002, Ben Laurie wrote:
> Tim O'Reilly wrote:
> > People keep saying sourceExchange (RIP).  But collab.net is alive and well,
> > and doing a lot of this interfacing.  Openoffice.org, netbeans.org,
> > openadaptor.org, helix.org, gridengine.sunsource.net are all very successful
> > projects managed by Collab.net.
>
> Collab.net is not SourceXchange, and you know it. Its a commercial
> cousin to it, but it is by no means the same thing.

To be clear, SourceXchange was a *service* that CollabNet the *company*
ran.  Dunno what called for the "and you know it" phrase; nor is it a
"commercial cousin", in my view.

ObDisclosure, Tim and I are both CollabNet board members.

> SourceXchange was an interesting idea (and I have my views one why it
> died if anyone cares), and may perhaps flourish in some guise once more,
> given changing attitudes to free software.

I believe I posted before why we decided to shut down the business, but
don't have the time right now to find the post.  Long and the short of it:
we tried to be a heavy intermediary (taking responsibility for collecting
& disbursing payments, and guaranteeing code quality), and the overhead of
that didn't pay for its costs.  Being a lightweight intermediary who just
makes introductions between developer and sponsors might have worked, but
we would have meant a much smaller number we could charge as a fee.  The
overall size of the market of companies looking to fund open
source work as an outsourced project was just too small.  A matching
service might work if it was run by an org that didn't need to break even
on it and where the labor involved could be volunteer (e.g., the FSF, or
ASF).  Affero is taking another interesting stab at the issue of
compensation for open source dev work.

	Brian