My alternative busines model
jan.wildeboer at gmx.de
Tue Dec 3 19:47:56 UTC 2002
Niall Douglas wrote:
> And I've never understood the logic or economics behind it. It's like
> having a shop selling goods for no cost but with a delivery service
> which costs money. As any economist will tell you, most people will
> go to the shop manually so they don't have to pay a penny. Only
> people without their own transport or some ideological motive will
> pay for delivery.
Read the GNU/GPL again ;-) You can ask any amount of money you want AND
you can add services to the GNU/GPL, for example warranty or a support
contract. Many Free Software projects have reached a certain compolexity
that causes a steep learning curve to fully understand the project. If
you are not willing to invest that time (or money as time is always
money) you can decide to buy/pay that expertise from someone else.
Many Free Software projects take that road. And many small to medium
sized companies can create a lot of income based on their knowledge of
Free Software. IMHO you have to think the other way round. As the
sources are available a market of equals is created. Just invest the
time needed to work your way in a Free Software project and you can
start to compete as an equal member of a specialized market.
Ofcourse you don't have a chance to protect a monopoly as with closed
source software, so your expectations should be adjusted.
Just my personal opinion though, I might get flamed for thinking that
> Furthermore, people will only donate like this in rich countries
> where the going is good. Come bad times, they'll work around it and
> then the business goes under.
Also take a look from the other side. If you are running a school or
university in a developing country you will be more than pleased to have
the equal opportunities to use Free Software and gain knowledge and
maybe help in the development of a specific project. The only thing you
have to invest is your time.
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