Business model for Open Source - advice wanted

Terence Way terry at wayforward.net
Thu Jul 10 17:16:27 CEST 2003


Two companies that make money spring to mind:
1. sleepycat software (they support Berkeley DB); and
2. the MySQL folks (they support, um, MySQL)

They have different licenses, MySQL being dual licensed:
GPL and proprietary, while sleepycat is custom and
OSI-compatible.

My understanding is that they both make good money.

 --

I think you're right on target that accounting systems
need customization... and you'll make money customizing
it.  Your only problem would then be marketing your
product/service.  Business people seldom read freshmeat,
I fear.

 --

Don't worry about people reneging on support contracts.
Companies get large enough, investors/directors will
blow a fuse if they find out that the accounting system
is unsupported: if you target the right companies the
support checks will flow uninterrupted.  If you're still
worried about 'em, offer a pay-per-incident, like MS.

 --

If your product is good enough, *I* may be one of those
consultants that uses your software, gets the support
license, and uses it to support all my clients.  This is
a *good* thing.  For one thing, any enhancements I add
get folded into your product, so you and all your
customers benefit.  For another, I won't be claiming I
wrote the thing: support by the original author of a
product is still important.

 --

Consider the target company size.  Given the $50-$100
support range, I'm thinking small companies < 10 people.
Your support fee is way too low for larger companies.

That is all.  Hope this helps.




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