Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 21st Jul 2005 11:30 UTC, submitted by Jan Stafford
GNU, GPL, Open Source CIOs can gain competitive advantages by taking part in the open source revolution, a movement that will shake up the power structure of the IT world, said Julie Hanna Farris, the founder of Scalix. Farris explains why open source is not a fad and how it will benefit the business world.
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RE[4]: RE[6]: I'm amazed as usual
by on Fri 22nd Jul 2005 11:33 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: RE[5]: I'm amazed as usual"

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Well, we have usual names...we have Red Hat (which someone told to have tiny revenues mostly coming from interests... didn't verify that), we have Mandriva/Mandrake, Linspire... and others are just begging for money, usually (not that I'm proud of it... just noticing).

So, you're only thinking about Linux when you talk about OSS and specifically Linux distributions. The odd thing is that each of those companies -- plus SuSE (owned bu Novell) are still in business.

Yet, they aren't the only OSS companies out there and the market they have chosen -- operating systems -- is a tough one with strong competitors.

Actually, big corps are those which get revenues from the work of hundreds underpaied (if not unpaied) developers.

Small companies too. Do you know how much your billing rate is? Mine is 2.5x hours worked -- and I don't get compensated for every hour (we are talking employee here). I have -- along with some others -- forced management to pay for overtime; we are all sick of the all you can eat attitude of any company.

The company? Uses OSS. Does not provide OSS. This is not uncommon. If we see an OSS app that we want extended -- and we have talked about a couple already -- paying for the extention is no big deal as long as it is cheaper in the long run. Entirely selfish motivations.

The fact that OSS usually is innovative just because it is open-source and the fact that if you start an OS project, that project will become innovative because many people will jump in and innovate.

Most projects aren't innovative. Most of what you do every day I'm sure is not innovative. Especially these days with tight budgets and 'programmers have to be managers' double booking and cost cutting steps (that I disagree with btw).

Both propriatory and open projects of all kinds suffer from this...and evidence to the contrary can be pointed to in both groups.

Not never, maybe almost never? Maybe rarely? However, surely it doesn't work "almost always"...

Agreed.

You got it right. Given the social merit of OSS model (which is what I'm interested in), I'm highly doubt that it could work in a business context, meaning that you hope to make money to buy food.

As I said, I'm not against OSS per se. I'm very happy about its social merit and there could be interesting things about it. However, I wouldn't recommend a starting-up company to plan to be an OSS company until a lot of things get considered (including the fact that most of them, even when their product is successfull, won't see almost any benefit).


You misunderstand. OSS works specifically because it deals directly with selfish attitudes. Even Stallman -- as inflaming and out spoken as he is -- talks about these attitudes and though many reflexively and quite wrongly label him a communist. His motivations are selfish too, and he's OK with that and says so many times.

Some projects are best served being OSS. Others benifit from OSS tools and adding to them helps not only one project but all projects and users (a single example: Apache/Tomcat).

Many companies are silently making money on OSS, and many of them don't know that OSS is one of the reasons. Are all of them contributors? Nope, though enough are that it makes sense to contribute. I am strictly talking about the business angle here, not the individual...though there are selfish motivations there too. Selfish is not a net negitive; it can be and often is a good thing.

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