Subject: Re: Nessus 3.0's failed community
From: Don Marti <dmarti@zgp.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Dec 2005 10:03:06 -0800

begin Larry M. Augustin quotation of Wed, Nov 30, 2005 at 08:35:04AM -0800:

> To return to the discussion around community contributions, the theory I've
> been developing over the past 3 years is that lower development costs are
> not the most significant benefit to an Open Source company.  Yes, lower
> development costs are a benefit.  But I think there's an opportunity to get
> even more benefit (cost advantage verses proprietary competition) in sales &
> marketing.

Some proprietary software products, such as Adobe
Photoshop, already have a low-cost marketing program,
where they distribute their software online or in
convenient open-air urban markets for a little more
than the cost of media.

Sure, they outsource this marketing program to
companies and individuals they don't have a formal
business relationship with, and sure, they call it
"piracy" and publicly complain about it, but doesn't
it have a similar effect?

Maybe part of the reason the desktop market is
harder to crack than the server market is that a
Professional Sysadmin won't develop an intranet site
on a warez copy of ColdFusion, but a Professional
Graphic Designer will happily "pirate" a new content
creation app.

> Maybe what the Nessus failure may be telling us is that Open Source business
> models that rely primarily on benefits to the company in the form of lower
> development costs are not viable.  The benefit has to be more than that.

Another possible benefit -- can a customer get
a project done faster when it can decouple the
implementation technology decision from the support
vendor relationship decision?  "While you folks
are developing our internal application on LAMP,
I'll check out several vendors for subscription and
support plans."

-- 
Don Marti
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
dmarti@zgp.org