The why and How of Open Source Participation

Today I had the opportunity to attend to Matt Assay talk in Barcelona (he was invited by the company that I'm working for) about the The why and How of Open Source Participation. I uploaded the slides (PDF format) of his presentation.

For those not familiar with Matt, he co-founded Novell's Linux Business Office in 2002 and was an early agitator and architect for the company's shift to open source. He is currently the VP Business Development at Alfresco, a board member at Open Source Initiative and advisor of several leading open source vendors (including SugarCRM).

Matt started with a cool video merging images of FC Barcelona with Openbravo and commenting on the success of our project and community. After the video, his presentation was focus on the dynamics of open source business and economics, which are the market trends, customer's options (based on polls) and successful strategies.

Here are some highlights of his talk:
  • If the community does not do well, the company will not do well.
  • When someone copies your software, the proprietary vision is that people are stealing your software. In free software world, the vision is that people is using your software.
  • The focus has to be on writing exceptional open source software.
  • A big problem for any software startup is to get people to use your software (dissemination), something that open source solves very well.
  • Proprietary software, you pay up front, the customer assumes all the risk. With open source, the customer buys services after has evaluated the product.
  • The failure of "express" editions from IBM/Oracle against open source database (you can not fool people).
  • In all open source projects, 85% of development is done by less than 15 developers.
  • GPL is the most suitable license for business.
  • Forking happens when you fail to take care of your community (Compiere/Adempiere, Joomla/Mambo)
  • Only 10 open source vendors will do over $10m in 2007.
I recommend Matt's talk to anyone interested in the dynamics of open source business or the role of community in open source projects.

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jordi Saturday 27 October 2007 - 8:06 pm | | Default

three comments

Roberto Galoppini

I just read Matt’s post, and his presentation is available also in ODF. Get legal, move to, now!

Roberto Galoppini, (Email ) (URL) - 28-10-’07 21:01

“In all open source projects, 85% of development is done by less than 15 developers.”

Well, you didn’t look at the flagship project, the linux kernel. No one does more than a few percent of developmement.

Xav, (Email ) - 28-10-’07 21:22
Roberto Galoppini

Xav, are you sure is it false for Linux? Have a look at ohloh..

Roberto Galoppini, (URL) - 28-10-’07 21:26
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