Open Source Secret: They Can't Make Any Money!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jul 24, 2014 1:48 AM GMT
    A trend of businesses that start with open source models and then switch to more proprietary offerings raises the question of whether it makes sense to build free stuff at all.

    NYT: Remember how the open source software movement was supposed to be like Woodstock, with everybody sharing and everything free? An entire economy where you gave a little to get a lot, in a place of love and software?

    At the risk of bringing down your summer, it’s time to admit that this idea didn’t work out.

    Take Big Switch Networks, a company that hoped to be for computer networking what Linux operating system software is for computer servers. A few years ago, Big Switch proposed building networking controller software that was crowd-created and free, which could demolish proprietary networking boxes. It would also offer a commercial version, with a few tweaks, that could be the basis of a great, profitable empire.

    On Tuesday, Big Switch announced what amounts to a more sophisticated and older-style business model. The company announced a proprietary software product.
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    Jul 24, 2014 12:44 PM GMT
    Ah so you're the resident NYT spammer that they were talking about. Word of advice, don't look to NYT for investment advice. Or, actually, maybe you should ;)

    Note that RedHat is profitable - or else it wouldn't have a p/e ratio.
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    Jul 24, 2014 2:40 PM GMT
    - Redhat
    - Cononical

    and many others do make money, not from the products themselves, but from the support maintenance contracts customers need to ensure these systems and services work when implemented.

    When you buy open source, you are not actually paying for the code, you are paying for documentation, technical support.
  • tj85016

    Posts: 4123

    Jul 25, 2014 12:14 AM GMT
    I think open source was promoted back in the day ('90's) to get the software ball rolling and expand the pie - it did a good job of that