Open Source Business Plan

Open Source Business Plan-21
This section first explains how harnessing the input of many users can enhance the use value of a tool, then turns to the question of how to harness that input by building a community of users/codevelopers.The open source approach of involving a large number of users in the development of a research tool contributes to quality improvements in two ways.There is, of course, a downside from the business perspective.

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First, "given enough eyes, all bugs are shallow": as demonstrated by the Linux project, a large group of users can eliminate design flaws and introduce enhancements very rapidly.

Second, the existence of a development community that includes both users and owners of the tool allows users to communicate needs and priorities to owners so that overall development efforts are more likely to be directed towards the most useful tasks.

This may be relatively straightforward if the tool already exists and managment of the tool is changing from a standard proprietary model to an open source model, but may involve more effort in relation to a new tool. To do this effectively, project leaders need certain social and communication skills (ie "leadership qualities"! Subtasks: (a) motivating participants (b) structure and infrastructure "Apart from direct revenue-generating activities in secondary markets (discussed below), businesses that choose to adopt an open source approach to some or all of their intellectual property may reap other economic rewards.

Experience in the software context suggests that cooperative development is most successful if developers can work with an existing body of material. Set up and maintain an effective community structure that maximises users' motivation to contribute to the project. These include preventing competitors from getting a choke-hold on the technology in question, redirecting competition from an area in which the company is weak to one in which is strong (for example, the company may be too small to provide a comprehensive package of tools for any given job, but strong at customising the tools it does own), overcoming resource constraints by creating an opportunity for several smaller firms to combine resources against a larger competitor or by lowering research and development overheads, attracting customers away from an established competitor (ie building "mindshare") and growing the market for closed products built on the open source platform." Éric Barroca: "1. ): Build and distribute proprietary software leveraging open source ones (be it complete apps or just extensions). Spring Source and most “Commercial Open Source” companies fall into this category too.

In the longer term, of course, the company itself also has an economic interest in ensuring continuing innovation so it can remain competitive as the market changes.

Less obviously, restricting access to intellectual property poses an immediate economic challenge to the company: it alone must generate all of the value offered to its customers.In the software world, the role of a project leader is to: 1.Provide the base intellectual content for the project and continue to seed it with new contributions. As Al Gilman, founder of the Alliance for Cellular Signalling, has said, there should be "money in the budget for pom-poms".This can also include some “proprietary services” such as automated updates or monitoring. Sun seems to look toward this way too (see Solaris and the recent Web Stack). Proprietary tooling: sell proprietary tools that help running / operating / managing open source products.These tools are usually development tools, administration tools or deployment tools. Saa S: package open source software to deliver apps as a service.In the software context, this issue is addressed by the requirement to provide access to source code; an open source biotechnology licence would also need to guarantee such access one way or another.The second relates to users' incentive to contribute to a co-operative effort: if potential contributors expect to be prevented from using the tool that they helped to create, they will be reluctant to contribute in the first place.The business creates the tool, fences it around with intellectual property protection, and derives revenue by selling the tool or, more commonly, charging fees for access under a licensing agreement.From a business perspective, this IP-rent extracting model has a number of advantages.This is particularly hard for smaller companies because their resources - money, people, time - are more limited, but it is a cost for any company, no matter what its size." ( Mod.html) "The open source approach offers an opportunity to address these economic challenges by expanding the resources available to the company to include resources that lie outside the firm boundary.In this model, the company allows users access to its intellectual property, and in return it gets help with developing the tool instead of having to do everything on its own.

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