SE Radio Interview on Open Source Business Models

Markus Völter of the Software Engineering Radio podcast show interviewed me about open source business models. Why not listen to the Open Source Business Model podcast while running rather than reading it as papers on my website?

Title: Open Source Business Models

Interviewer: Markus Völter

Abstract: In this episode we’re talking to Dirk Riehle about open source business models. We started looking at the way OS projects work and defined different kinds of open source projects. In the main part of the discussion we looked at various ways of how to make money with open source: consulting, support contracts, commercial variant of an open source project, etc. We then looked at the chances and risks of each of these approaches. The next part focused on different open source licenses and how they are suitable for open source business. We concluded the episode by discussing a couple of specific questions and loose ends.

Reference: “Episode 94: Open Source Business Models with Dirk Riehle.” Software Engineering Radio, April 23, 2008.

Link: SE Radio Podcast on Open Source Business Models

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  1. Dirk Riehle Avatar

    Ah, OK. I’m not aware right now of any particular writings on this topic, though the blogs are of course full of claims (incl. mine) that open source represents an effective sales strategy.
    As a counter example, derived from yours, you can compare and SugarCRM. It does not appear that SalesForce is slowing down because of Sugar, so there clearly is more to business success than Open Source (who would have thought 🙂
    The way I hear it, first of all, the product needs to be right, and after that open source is an added benefit.

  2. Martin Avatar

    I am asking if you know of any research/writing that explores how greatly disadvantaged a competitor is if it tries to compete with the originator of an open source product. A (very theoretical) example would be Siebel (Oracle) trying to compete with SugarCRM with a new product based on the SugarCRM open source codebase.

  3. Dirk Riehle Avatar

    Martin, thanks for the compliment, I’m glad you liked it.
    Are you asking about how a competitor is put at a disadvantage by a commercial open source firm’s strategy, or are you asking how a competitor can utilize the open source firm’s code base for its own advantage? Or, how the dual-license strategy hinders a competitor from using the open source firm’s code base?

  4. Martin Avatar

    Very interesting interview. Refreshing to hear some straight talk about OSS business models. Do you know of any writings that deal in more detail with a competitor’s disadvantages in using a competing company’s open sourced code to build/enhance a competing product?

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