Posts Tagged ‘Open Source’
Although I've read many articles about open source licensing, I'm continually surprised by the amount of confusion and disinformation I find related to the GNU General Public License (GPL). This post is written by a lay person for other lay persons. I'm not a lawyer, but I do a fair amount of IP strategy consulting with open source companies and have had the benefit of working with some of the best open source attorneys in the world. So I know enough to be dangerous and have an (more or less) informed point of view. Read the rest of this post with the understanding that I am offering my own views of the GPL, not legal advice. Read the rest of this entry »
A while back I was doing some research for a client and came across an apparent GPL slight of hand engineered by Sun and IBM. Time constraints and competing priorities kept me from writing about this until now, and Oracle's acquisition of Sun has taken Sun off of the hot seat (see in particular paragraph 2, Non Assertion), but it's still a pretty juicy story. What's more, I think it's healthy to expose vendor behaviors that cut against the spirit of open source, creating unfair advantages for a privileged few at the expense of everyone else. Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone understands the concepts of a market funnel – leads are loaded into the top from various sources; they go through some level of qualification and scoring before being passed to sales; and the sales team then develops them further into pipeline opportunities and deals. In traditional enterprise markets, demand creation and low-touch selling are subordinate to the rolodex-driven, four-legged sales process. In volume markets, frictionless marketing and sales are the process. Where enterprise sales is an artful pursuit, volume marketing and selling is all about math. Read the rest of this entry »
Stimulated in part by a controversial Eric Raymond blog post, open source thought leaders like Matt Asay are publicly questioning the contemporary merits of the GNU General Public License (GPL). In fairness, Matt has long been a GPL advocate. And it's never bad to question whether past practices make sense going forward. All that said, the notion that open source vendors should simply abandon the GPL in favor of liberal licenses like BSD/Apache is myopic and wrong-headed, in my opinion.
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Some open source vendors are preoccupied with counting community downloads. Why? They believe that downloads are a leading indicator of commercial sales pipeline. The theory is that a meaningful percentage of community relationships will develop into commercial relationships, and sooner rather than later. While it's certainly true that some community relationships will cross over, the percentages are small, the durations are tortuously long, and the consistency (i.e., repeatability) of that cross-over motion is low. Thus, revenue models based on the premise of community monetization are, with few exceptions, doomed from the get-go. Read the rest of this entry »