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InfoWorld: Real-world open source business

May 11, 1999, 01:55 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Paul Everitt)

This post to Nick Petreley's 'A new economy' forum by Paul Everitt of Digital Creations, creators of Zope, is a valuable article in its own right.

"... my company has supported open source since 1994, being one of the founders of the Python Software Activity and giving away free code. We had a commercial version (Principia) of our free object publishing toolkit (Bobo). Last October we took on first-round financing. The next month our VC convinced us to open source everything, thus creating the Zope application server.

"As part of this, we were forced to think about the business model of "giving away the crown jewels".

"There is revenue in going open source. Every time I make the "bet the business" argument to a customer, I'm pulling a judo strategy by reversing a competitor's strength (market dominance) vs. my weakness (small and off the beaten track). Instead of trusting the market leader that gives you no control over your future, trust the innovator that puts your business plan first. This pitch works and is getting us on radars where we couldn't have gotten previously."

Complete story.