Talk Slides: The Commercial Open Source Business Model

For my AMCIS 2009 talk on the single-vendor commercial open source business model, first the abstract, then the slides:

Commercial open source software projects are open source software projects that are owned by a single firm that derives a direct and significant revenue stream from the software. Commercial open source at first glance represents an economic paradox: How can a firm earn money if it is making its product available for free as open source? This paper presents the core properties of commercial open source business models and discusses how they work… [more]

The talk slides are available as a PDF file and are licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0 license.

For a discussion of the talk’s contents I recommend reading the original article.

7 thoughts on “Talk Slides: The Commercial Open Source Business Model

  1. I have two v. small quibbles — well, distinctions, really — to make. First, company doesn’t have to have *sole* relicensing rights, since they may include some code that they don’t even own in their product, as long as that code is very liberally licensed. (And, of course, that code should ideally be replaceable at a lower cost for company that the total cost of anyone else reimplementing their entire product.) And, second, slides assume that community is technically able (as in MySQL case) to contribute code, which makes rights hand-over primary issue. But in some cases, community can use but not really contribute to the core, since product may be in an R&D space, for example. Otherwise, these slides are excellent.

  2. I agree with @Kendall. Because we are talking open source, there is nothing to stop third parties from offering customization, installation, and maintenance services for well known open source platforms. We have noticed a definite increase in clients asking for open source solutions, particularly in the corproate web site and enterprise collaborative portal areas. I have recently blogged about this over at but I believe it is because the recession has driven key decision makers to look beyond their own prejudices in order to find greater value from their IT dollar.

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