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Advogato: Free Software Business Models for Residential Networking

Jan 28, 2001, 14:47 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tom Hull)

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"I've been working on a business model which has the potential to build and support a large scale service industry. I see free software and services as a viable alternative to proprietary efforts to control the residential networking and automation market, and have posted a free business plan to show how this may be accomplished."

"I've been thinking about a business model based on free software, similar to what Frank Hecker calls "Software Franchising" (Setting Up Shop). And I've been thinking about how this business model could be applied to a specific, relatively large and growing business area: residential networking."

"My idea is to build a Linux computer (appliance, gateway, server) and network into every new house. This system could be adapted to existing housing (probably more emphasis on wireless than on structured wiring), apartments, etc. This system would connect to the Internet, and internally could interface to telephone, audio, video, HVAC, security system, lighting controls, and pretty much anything else that the user fancies (and can trust)."

"Everything I've mentioned exists now, and there are dozens of companies actively trying to foist such systems upon the public. Their progress is being slowed by many factors, including (in no particular order): incompatible technology, high price, poor reliability, lack of training and understanding, and bad software. What all of these problems cry out for is service."

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