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Open Market Software (OMS) - the next wave

Apr 27, 2000, 04:38 (0 Talkback[s])

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[ Thanks to Tom Snyder for this link. ]

There is a profound change taking place in the world of software development which is going to overwhelm both the Closed Source Software (CSS) and Open Source Software (OSS) models.

It's what I call Open Market Software or OMS and it solves critical problems which exist with both the Closed (CSS) and Open (OSS) source software models.

In Closed Source Software, to grossly oversimplify, only one guy gets paid, the owner of the source code. Sure the programmers get paid but they are paid on an hourly basis, not on the basis of shared revenues. Further, corporate structure is generally stifling to creative (i.e. good) work. I cite the popularity of Dilbert as proof of this assertion, 'nuff said.

Without belabouring a point well known to all Slashdot readers, Closed Source Software is disadvantaged relative to Open Source because Open Source simply allows more people to participate in the development of the product. Provided this participation can be managed, Open Source simply wins on strength of numbers. The downfall of Open Source is that people don't get paid for their work (at least not directly).

So again, broadly speaking, Closed Source Software loses because only one guy gets to be creative and only one guy reaps scalable benefits from the product. Also, lack of global reach means not everyone pays for what they use so those who do pay, pay too much. Open Source Software is flawed because, although everyone gets to be creative, no-one pays and no-one gets paid.

Thus we see the emergence of Open Market Software, OMS. This is the "everyone gets paid" and "everyone gets to be creative" model. In OMS you may still have a Linux-like governing committee but you develop a market place for bringing together people who need code fixes and people willing to develop the same.

Marketplaces where coders can post their own work for resale, buyers can post reviews, and people with needs can post open requisitions, are appearing today. Check, and even (conceptually similar idea, only text is bid on and resold rather than code).

Let me say briefly, without elaborating, that micropayments and the global reach of a popular OMS website, with a great database and search engine, will overcome both piracy and high prices by ensuring that everyone who needs certain software gets it. Pirate sites wont be able to give code away for less than the cost of getting it from the authoritative site without rising above the radar and getting nabbed. Think about it hard, piracy will go away.

Imagine the combination of a searchable, reviewed, on-line store of existing software and technical articles combined with a marketplace for the development of new software and articles. No more re-inventing the wheel. Imagine a system whereby the developers of a given piece of code can negotiate revenue sharing with people wishing to improve their code. Imagine how, through micropayments and many negotiations over time, everyone who contributes shares in the revenues for code they develop.

I know these thoughts are some what incomplete and that I have made some oversimplifications. I offer them up for consideration and improvement by others. However, I do believe fundamentally that the internet has enabled Open Market Software to be a viable concept, one in which:

- Everyone gets to contribute creatively
- Everyone who contributes gets paid
- Everyone who needs code/inforamtion is aware of it
- Everyone who uses code/information pays for it.

By the way, if you have seen the phrase "Open Market Software, (OMS)" expressed with this concept before please let me know so I can give credit where due.


aka Tom Snyder