Building a business selling open-source software

Submitted on
Thursday, July 24, 2014
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The Open Road (CNET)

While TechDirt experiments with optimal configurations of digital media business models, Rob Walling has unwittingly landed on a sure-fire way to build billion-dollar open-source companies.

I say "unwittingly" because Walling's post is all about "How to Compete Against Open Source Competition." In the process, he does a fair job of describing how to build an exceptional open-source business.

Walling starts with a reprise of a classic Marten Mickos quote: "open-source software is free if your time is worth nothing." It's pithy and somewhat true, but it's not as rich as Mickos' commentary, which points to an opportunity in Walling's accusation.