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Profiting From Open Source -- Without Selling Out

Jun 29, 2010, 13:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Peter Wayner)

[ Thanks to snydeq for this link. ]

"So you want to make a small fortune in open source software? It's simple, the joke goes: Just start with a large fortune. The open source revolution began at least two decades ago, but businesses and programmers are still struggling to understand the best way to share wonderful code and pay the mortgage.

"There have been some notable successes: Sun paid $1 billion for MySQL, an eye-popping amount given that MySQL was celebrating raking in $50 million in revenue not too long before. Red Hat has a market cap of more than $6 billion.

"Yet for all of this wealth, there's a feeling that these businesses succeeded by being hybrids. They use the open source vision to attract users, but their business success comes by pushing proprietary options. Thus, the dark secret is that their open source version are merely a form of marketing."

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