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Open Source Business Practices and Conversion Rate Myths

Jan 26, 2008, 05:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stephen Walli)

"With the Sun Microsystem recent move to acquire MySQL AB, open source business models will be a topic of much discussion again. MySQL AB, like Red Hat, has always been one of the examples everyone points to for how an open source business should be run. One of the oft quoted statistics of the MySQL business is 'one customer for every thousand users.' This number is then quickly put into context as 'probably too big' because MySQL is available in so many places that trying to count downloads and users becomes impossible. When JBoss was acquired by Red Hat, the publicly acknowledged conversion rates were 3% (JBoss) and 10% (Red Hat). People start making assumptions about business models based on driving downloads and user community size. And that's where the problem starts..."

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