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.