"Open core, open complement": something's missing

  3 comments for “"Open core, open complement": something's missing

  1. May 28, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Uhm, here is the link for the share of wallet wars and open source’s role in it:

  2. May 28, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    Dang, it looks like it swallowed my earlier comment?
    Anyway, I was saying that subsidizing an infrastructure component is not a revenue generator, it is a money sink. You only make money by taking revenue out of the software layer addressed by the component, e.g. Subversion, and shifting it into another layer, e.g. a software forge. You spend money on one layer to earn more in another layer. That’s why IBM is subsidizing Linux, etc.
    Here a longer explanation: http://dirkriehle.com/2008/06/18/open-source-in-the-share-of-wallet-wars/
    Thanks for the blog post and the argument, Jack!

  3. May 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    Well, I disagree that open source is purely a money sink: rather, it’s an investment. You get out more value than you put in.
    For example, we’ve several times tried to calculate how much we spent sponsoring Subversion, versus how much value resulted. That’s a pretty hand-wavy sort of calculation, of course, but we’ve done it several ways, at several stages of the project, and the answer consistently comes out about the same: CollabNet invested about 25% of the cost of developing Subversion. But we get 100% of the value (and so does everyone else, of course). We deliberately reduced the cost of a key component by 75%, so we could spend that building the rest of the product.
    To some degree, that’s covered in your “wallet wars” post, to which you’ve linked, but you show this “reduce the costs” phenomenon only for operating system and database, components that most of us out-source anyway. In this example, we applied the magic of open source development to reduce our *own* costs: it’s a “money source,” not a sink!

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