Upside: Namesys perfects ‘selfish gene’ software development

“Given the absence of sideways smiley faces, and the fact that
Reiser himself has spent the last six years developing the file
system that bears his name, it’s hard to tell whether such comments
are dead serious or self-deprecating. Then again, Reiser doesn’t
downplay the significance of that timing when laying out Namesys’
short-term future.”

“It’s an enormous advantage for us,” he says. “Our business
model is based upon giving the software away for free and then
charging users who want more features. After that, we give those
features away for free in the hopes of attracting new users. The
whole thing snowballs.”

“Regardless of timing, the Namesys track record is already
impressive. Less than three years after launching a company around
reiserfs, Reiser and his staff of 16 Eastern European programmers
have managed to position themselves, albeit momentarily, in front
of some of the biggest names in the Linux business….”

Call it the “selfish gene” school of software development:
Companies race to get their code accepted within the main Linux
chromosome, knowing that their engineers will be the ones best
positioned to play a supporting role when customers come looking
for help.