You can Make Money from Open Source?


BBC report from the Open Source Conference which has been held at Amsterdam. The source code may be free, but there is apparently gold in software support, training and publishing

Damien Conway, who trains programmers through his business Thoughtstream , said: "I think the most successful of those is definitely licensing support; providing the software and then saying: 'if you want to buy a support contract, here's what it will cost you on an ongoing basis'.

"That way people are getting something that they can work with free if they want to, but when they get into trouble they have backup and you make some money out of it."

Karl Fogel, from software distributor CollabNet , said: "We now have a world that has distribution costs of zero. We have just built a world-wide copying machine called the internet."...

If open source really can make money for free, then it might make sense after all to harness the wisdom of the group.



IMO it is only a matter of time before the vast majority of apps are open source. the makers of open source software then can sell certification, consultation, and can make a market between software customizers and software buyers. IMO market making is where the big money will be; i think if some of the more popular open source apps -- mambo/joomla, vbulletin for instance -- had well structured and organized markets where people could buy and sell services it'd be quite profitable.

If you go that route

If you go that route ensure that your software is buggy or at least pretty complex, coz nice working free/open source programs don't bring in a dime due to the lack of support/consulting requests.

More BBC, this time Tim O'Reilly

Another BBC article -Tech guru O'Reilly mashes it up - in which "Tim O'Reilly outlines his views on open source."

Sergey Brin and Larry Page now have become very rich. And people like, Pierre Omidyar who founded eBay, and Jeff Bezos who founded Amazon, have become very rich realising that this new commodity software infrastructure allowed them to build these enormous new services that were incredibly valuable on top of that free software infrastructure.

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