The Software Research and the Industry Blog tackles lots of topics in the computer science industry. One particular offering by Dirk Riehle is a white paper explaining the commercial open source vendor model. Read or download the full paper, “The Single-Vendor Commercial Open Source Business Model.”
The abstract provides an overview of the topics covered:
Single-vendor commercial open source software projects are open source software projects that are owned by a single firm that derives a direct and significant revenue stream from the software. Single-vendor commercial open source at first glance represents an economic paradox: How can a firm earn money if it is making its product available for free as open source? This paper presents the core properties of single-vendor open source business models and discusses how they work. Using a single-vendor open source approach, firms can get to market faster with a superior product at lower cost than possible for traditional competitors.
LucidWorks is an open source enterprise leader following another model, a Professional Open Source model offering commercial support, training, and value-added software to the already popular Apache Lucene and Solr projects. LucidWorks customer satisfaction is very high and it seems that this business model is quite successful in both supporting open source innovation and providing excellent service to customers.
Emily Rae Aldridge, September 11, 2012