Why Use Downloads as an Indicator of OSS Success?
Feb 14, 2008, 23:00 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brett Shoemaker)
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"I continue to be surprised by the amount of weight given to
downloads as a metric for OSS success. A topic Matt Asay also
touched on recently over at The Open Road. Like Matt, I'm talking
OSS at the product or company level (i.e., not OSS projects) and by
success I mean sales.
"For me, a high number of downloads only signals that people are
willing to trial a product. Downloads do not equal actual use of
the product, and trial is a far cry from success. If we take it as
a given that consumers see value in the product, the company still
has to convert those downloads into paying customers, and this
challenge is where the problems of using downloads as an indicator
of success become apparent..."