Open Source & Business

I’m preparing a workshop for later this month and one of the topics will be the rise of open source and the business models around it. Here are some interesting sites and comments that I’ve come across lately:

Matt Asay: “The benefits of SaaS [software as a service] also point to its greatest flaw: it’s the ultimate lock-in scenario when it comes to your data, even though it “liberates” the user from software. In fact, it’s this very liberation that creates the problem. If you don’t have the software, you really don’t have the data, no matter the vendor’s data policy. My data qua data is only as useful as the software used to open it up and read it.”

The Economic Times: “Clearly, the IPR-based [intellectual property rights] model for innovation is just not working. Strong IP protection is encouraging protectionism and is harming the way science is done. Many more patents are taken out to stop others from working than to protect one’s own research. It is premised on very high costs of development, that are sought to be recovered through high monopoly pricing of products.”

Dave Snowden: “… I think the position deeply confuses the concept of open source with that of not having to pay for things. It also fails to understand that all business models make money somewhere, the issue is where and (to my mind the most important thing) the degree of transparency of said business model. ”

Guillaume Lebleu: “The idea is to not view open source as an all or nothing strategy, but rather as a marketing technique to segment your market and maximize revenue, except that in the open source case, the revenue is mostly intangible.” [follow link for charts]

I’ll be summarizing my workshop and posting here by the end of the month.

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