This post to Nick Petreley's 'A new economy' forum by Paul
Everitt of Digital Creations, creators of Zope, is a valuable
article in its own right.
"... my company has supported open source since 1994, being one
of the founders of the Python Software Activity and giving away
free code. We had a commercial version (Principia) of our free
object publishing toolkit (Bobo). Last October we took on
first-round financing. The next month our VC convinced us to open
source everything, thus creating the Zope application server.
"As part of this, we were forced to think about the business
model of "giving away the crown jewels".
"There is revenue in going open source. Every time I make the
"bet the business" argument to a customer, I'm pulling a judo
strategy by reversing a competitor's strength (market dominance)
vs. my weakness (small and off the beaten track). Instead of
trusting the market leader that gives you no control over your
future, trust the innovator that puts your business plan first.
This pitch works and is getting us on radars where we couldn't have
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