Tim O’Reilly gave this morning’s keynote address, “The Open Source Paradigm Shift”. The talk was reminiscent of last year’s Watching The Alpha Geeks keynote at ApacheCon, although now he is able to say the phrase “paradigm shift” with a straight face.
Largely the talk was trying to make the case that we shouldn’t try to think about Open Source software in the traditional commercial software business model. Instead, we should recognize that the software (to some extent) has become a commodity, just like hardware has become a commodity. The true value in Open Source is the businesses that grow up around it. For example, nobody pays for Sendmail and Apache, yet thousands of ISPs make money from providing web/email hosting services for their customers.
His charge to the audience was to embrace the fact that Open Source software has become a commodity, and to start to think of it (and all of the services that have grown up around it) as a platform. If we can develop services that support collaboration and end-user customization, and the data flows freely enough, we’ll somehow find a way to feed our families.
OSCON Day #3: Tim’s Keynote
I slept in today. But others did not. Phil Windley and Michael Radwin both blogged about Tim’s keynote. Sounds like a lot of what Tim’s been saying in recent years….
“Somehow”? I’d prefer better odds than that. If we can’t think in terms of the traditional business model, how can we think?
I’d hate for all OSS developers to be mini Robin Hood’s.
Phil Windley took more detailed notes than I did. See his blog to get further examples of how one might make money with OSS.
I did, right after posting. Still seems a bit too idealistic for me to get into serious OSS development. I do a lot of “available source” projects, but not much true OSS… Yet 🙂