Dave Kellogg writes on the Kellblog covering topics ranging from Big Data to the business of software. A recent post relays a conversation Kellogg had with Mike Olson, CEO of Hadoop, regarding the current business models of open source software. Read the full piece in, “Open Source Business Models, Revisited.”
Kellogg relays a theory about a potentially insurmountable contradiction regarding open source business models:
My premise was that open source presents a fundamental paradox: the larger the community, the better the software, and the less people need to buy support for it. Thus, that open source market opportunities were inherently flawed / paradoxical because you could only sell services for projects that were not terribly successful. Simply put: ‘You can have a large community who doesn’t need to buy from you or a small community who does.’
However, despite the paradox above, the article goes on to highlight four currently successful business models based on open source software: professional services, support, dual licensing, and open core. LucidWorks is highlighted as a support provider, offering free distributions, training, and all manner of customer support for Apache Lucene and Solr. Despite the theories surrounding the potential success of such models, LucidWorks is an example of actual success – happy customers and good dividends.
Emily Rae Aldridge, September 11, 2012