"Suddenly, new companies based on free and open source software
(FOSS) are being noticed again. Reading about companies like Alacos
and Black Duck Software, I realize that it has been six years since
FOSS began to have a market impact. Now, with the dot-com crash and
a recession in the technology sector behind us, companies are still
trying to answer the question, 'How can we make money from FOSS?' I
can't pretend to give a complete answer, but here are a few
observations that might improve the odds.
"At the companies where I've been a manager or a consultant,
I've seen what works. More frequently, I've seen what doesn't work.
Stormix Technologies, my introduction to FOSS companies, was never
profitable. Nor, in my day, was Progeny Linux Systems. At other
companies, I was a consultant, and didn't hear all the private
decisions, but too often, I've seen the same mistakes being made
over and over again..."