February 19, 2019

The Best Open Source Business Models - page 2

JBoss Leads the Way

  • September 10, 2007
  • By Matt Hartley

With the exception of Mozilla and Google, finding an open source based company that is doing well financially is fairly difficult. Because the common model remains selling support to those who need it for the open source product in question, trying to make this model work within the consumer market is very difficult to do.

When it comes to the consumer market, sell something valuable and obtainable financially. Take the Ubuntu project, for instance. Canonical offering support services for this project is fine for schools and within the enterprise. However this is simply not going to float in the typical home and will not likely generate a sustainable income for Canonical in the long run.

Lately, however, Canonical's partnership with Dell has helped Canonical to begin to branch out beyond the support-only platform. It's a good start, but I cannot help but wonder where else they could expand their reach. Support and certification is a nice model to be sure, based on their international success. I think that Canonical could do more in the end-user education market, especially with home users.

Imagine money invested into self-help DVD movies and easier to understand books that take a more step-by-step approach to using the OS. I own most of the released books on Ubuntu; there is no way the average user is going to make heads or tails out of the information overload provided in them. I firmly believe that Linux distros and a number of open source applications could make money should their creators put their minds to it and stop thinking like engineers with their marketing.

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