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Open Source Closed for Business

A leader of the open source movement recently penned a piece for BusinessWeek arguing that the "open source business model is broken."

My first reaction is that open source wasn't founded on a business model, but on a software development model. This software model was then adapted by companies such as Red Hat to underpin efforts to make money.

But before I get distracted by too much philosophy, let's look at the argument made by Stuart Cohen, CEO of Collaborative Software Initiative. Cohen wrote that selling support for open source tools isn't the moneymaker many thought. The thing is, open source doesn't need all that much support, Cohen argued. Open source companies need to find news ways, whether it's adding new layers of software or building communities, to keep the whole business moving.

Making money off something that's intrinsically free is difficult? Who would've thought? How would you make a buck from open source? Moneymaking ideas welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/02/2008 at 1:16 PM


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