I’m pretty frustrated by some of the discussion around the recent relicensing decisions by commercial open source companies. A fair bit of it seems confused to me, and I think this is mostly due to commentators not understanding the purpose of community for the vendor. So I decided to write a hypothetical pledge for venture-capital backed companies that those can adopt to be clear about their intentions. Then, future behavior doesn’t come as a surprise. Non VC-backed companies may want to tone down the return-on-investment verbiage. With that:Continue reading “The Commercial Open Source Pledge”
Life is exciting in commercial open source land. On Tuesday this week, another commercial open source vendor relicensed its product while at the same time disavowing the open core model, which they call a tiered approach to their business. This disavowel piqued my interest, not because the open core model is good or bad, but because the argument seemed confused to me and illustrates how important it is to understand your users and the resulting market segmentation.Continue reading “Market Segmentation in the Open Core Model”
On a recent trip to Montreal, I reconnected with Marc Laporte, leader of the WikiSuite project and an old friend and fellow wiki enthusiast. Naturally, we talked about open source business strategies and he pointed me to one way of how commercial open source companies make money: They don’t provide you with a free upgrade path from one version to the next; you only get an upgrade if you pay.Continue reading “From the Bag of Commercial Open Source Tricks: Paying for the Upgrade”
Here is the simplest eye-opener that I have found in my consulting practice to convince management of the need for an open source program office:
Ask your manager to look at the open source license section under legal notices on their mobile phone. Ask them to scroll down to the end (they’ll never finish). Then point out that your product needs the same but doesn’t have it yet (if it doesn’t).
The reasoning behind this recommendation is that many managers simply don’t understand the extent to which open source is in their products. There is no better demonstration than to show them using a device they use frequently.
I view open source mostly from an economic perspective. From this point of view, some of the words people use are curious. For example, people like to talk about “giving back” to the community or “donating a project” to the public. These idioms have community building power, like insider speak among those who speak it, but to non-insiders, they are mostly confusing.
I feel pretty certain that these idioms slowed down the growth and adoption of open source. So let me use the two I just picked as an example and translate them.Continue reading “Time to Curb Your Open Source Wording”
Open Source Expanded is the name of a new column (open-ended article series) that I’m editing for IEEE Computer Magazine. Expect a new article on open source and how it is changing the world every two months!
The first article on the innovations of open source was just published, kicking of the column. I could not negotiate an open license, however, all articles will be free to read and download.Continue reading “Open Source Expanded (New Column)”
I’m very much interested in the governance of open source projects, in particular if these are user-led projects. With this post, I’m proposing a basic terminology to talk about the formal organizational structure underlying the governance of such open source projects.Continue reading “A Simple Model of the Organizational Support of Open Source Projects”
The house magazine of IAV Automotive Engineering GmbH, a major supplier to the German automotive industry, which had interviewed Markus Blonn and me about open source and inner source at IAV, translated the magazine article into English, woohoo!
I recently was interviewed about open source in the public sector and blogged my answers here:
- Should the public sector use open source software? 1/4
- Why did munich drop Linux and LibreOffice for Microsoft Windows and Office? 2/4
- Should the public sector consider open source only for new purchases? 3/4
- Shouldn’t a public government stay out of the software market? 4/4
t3n magazin now (liberally) translated these to German. Check it out: Ich denke, dass Software mit offenem Quelltext längst gewonnen hat. (local copy).