LinuxWorld: Profiting on Linux

“Open source coders can happily hack away in isolation, but if
the Linux and open source community is to grow — and finally reap
some desktop apps — somebody has to succeed on the business

“Another paradox lies in the land of Linux: even though the OS
has basked in the press spotlight for two years, failed companies
in the Linux market far outnumber successful ones. Many Linux
companies have failed, retrenched, or simply struggled to keep
their heads above water at the same time that Linux usage among
individuals and organizations has grown like crazy. Not everyone
has pockets as deep as Big Blue’s.”

“But whether or not Linux companies make money may have a lot to
do with whether the community can sustain itself in the long term.
Like Linus, many kernel hackers hack just because it’s fun. The fun
is there whether commercial firms make a buck or not. But
commercial success for Linux companies has everything to do with
how big the community will become. The problem is that actually
making money with Linux in particular and free software in general
has proven to be as elusive a goal as Ponce de Leon’s fountain of

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