Open source & making money: two worlds?May 17th, 2010 • 4 Comments
I’m a big fan of Open Source Software. But I can also understand that making money is important nowadays. And to be honest I feel more confident when a company is involved in the development of a tool/product/application. I think communities are great – but a company with real QA and who needs to make money out of a tool/product/application has a motivation to make the best out of the tool/product/application.
Now the question is: How do you make money with this in mind? Simply by selling support contracts? I have seen companies fail with that model.
A good idea might be to release the code in open source but as a company do development of new features in a closed repository. Make a clear release plan which shows the upcoming features (and distribute it). When a customer needs one of these upcoming features etc. he can either:
- develop them himself or
- buy a license to get the access to the current version or
Next to that Support contracts might still be an option 🙂
Crucial point is here the right choice of a source code control system. Because the community still might develop cool features which you want in you closed repository as well…But distributed SCMs do the job…