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Open Source Companies Fading

from the desperate-times... dept

News.com is running an article looking at the various companies that were based on open source software, who are now frantically trying to switch to selling proprietary software. There is, of course, an interesting parallel to all the dot coms that started out by offering stuff for free and suddenly switched to a pay-model once the bubble burst. In both of these cases, it seems like the business decisions weren’t well thought-out. Not that I think the original business models were correct, but simply switching to a proprietary software model without offering anything substantially different is short sighted. It’s unlikely to generate much in the way of sales, and is a lot more likely to anger your original supporters. It also opens the companies up to the inevitable competition from an open source variation of their product – possibly from a company that is more creative about how they plan to make money. If someone is offering a product that really is equivalent for free, you can try to charge whatever you want, but basic economics says you’re going to be in trouble.

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