Open Source Isn't A Business Model... Just Like Free Isn't A Business Model
from the but-both-are-important-parts-of-a-business-model dept
The simple fact is that "open source" has never been a business model -- in the same way that free, by itself, has never been a business model. They both can be a very important part of a business model, but anyone who thought that "open source" was a business model probably also believed that "give it away and pray" was a business model. The research report simply highlights that point, effectively pointing out that, while some companies may have incorrectly thought it was a business model, "open source" by itself has never been a business model. Those that bet on "open source as a business model" rather than figuring out how open source works in a business model all realized they needed to change strategies down the road.
Unfortunately, the problem is that many will simply read the bottom line of these reports, rather than the details, and think they mean that open source is a failure as a part of a business model. And that would be a huge mistake. Ignoring the opportunities that are opened up for other business models by open source is just as silly as ignoring how "free" can be a part of almost any business model today. Brushing them aside as not worth pursuing is a strategy that will almost certainly come back to haunt those who underestimate the importance of both concepts.