Subject: Re: Free Software Business Models
From: Rich Bodo <>
Date: Tue, 19 May 2009 09:49:20 -0700

>> As someone looking to improve free software fonts,
> I am not looking to maximize profit above all other concerns;
> Since I'm committed to free software fonts, I think it would be
> counterproductive to run a font business with free software fonts
> upselling proprietary ones in this way.


Since you are interested in unrelated models...

For the sake of argument, any going concern that makes money, enriches
free software developers and spreads free software, is an FSB in my
book.  I'll only comment on my experiences with FSB models that create
and sell exclusively free software:

1) Widget Frosting++

Create and maintain free software that fills a gap in the GNU domain,
and package it with hardware and support services.  Creating your own
free software is an unnecessary complication of basic widget frosting.
 This model may work better with some capital up front, but generally
a great business model that bootstrappers with tech expertise can

2) Training

Hire experts in the use of a Free Software to sell that knowledge to
others.  Not so much of an FSB.  Only works well if you keep fixed
costs to almost zero and have unique, high-quality, high-demand

After those two, I decided to sell shovels to the miners for a while.

Less frequently mentioned is that most people who write free software
consider it a profit center because they become recognized experts,
which increases their income potential.

All this feels a bid pedantic since you seem to feel there is an
opportunity with great potential in the font industry, the mechanics
of which you understand, that is yet to be capitalized on.


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