Wednesday, January 20, 2010

11 open source business models

1. Support Ware — Pay us money and we’ll support the software. We’ll answer your questions. Or we’ll try to. Over the phone, on the Web, whatever. Pay us enough and we’ll come over. Red Hat likes this business model.

2. Product Ware – The software is free, you just buy the box it runs in. Android phones use this. So do some network routers. It’s number two, but with a bullet.

3. Cloud Ware — Our software is in the clouds now. Pay us for what it does. The money goes into the cloud. Later it will rain on us. SugarCRM likes this business model.

4. Project Ware — Need something done? We’ll do it with open source. Pay us for our work, and pay us for the project. IBM makes a ton on this business model.

5. SaaS Ware — Our software is SaaSy. You can rent it, by the hour, by the month, by the user. This is wildly popular. Zoho uses it. So do many other companies.

6. Ad Ware — This is a free version of SaaS Ware. You don’t pay anything, the advertiser pays instead. Heard of The Google? This is their primary business model. ZDNet also uses this business model.

7. Sugar Daddy Ware — Our software has a sugar daddy. Firefox has Google. Eclipse has IBM. Open Office has Sun, or it did. So just use the stuff. Daddy will provide. We believe in daddy.

8. Foundation Ware — Our software has a foundation. It has lots of sugar daddies. Want to be one? Linux runs this way. So does Apache. Not to mention Wikipedia.

9. Beg Ware — Please give us money. We know you don’t have to. But give us money anyway. Lots of little projects use this business model. Or pretend to.

10. Tchotchke Ware — Wanna buy a t-shirt? How about a bumper sticker? A pen?

11. Let’s Make a Deal Ware — The programmers who wrote the software support it out of their own pockets until they can figure out something. Wordpress started this way. So did Drupal. Go by Sourceforge and you’ll find tons of folks still using this business model. more read

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