An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
Posted Sep 26, 2004 16:24 UTC (Sun) by hppnq
In reply to: An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
Parent article: An Interview with Tom Lord of Arch (O'ReillyNet)
[ Thanks, Larry. Indeed, let's not get into another flame fest. ;-) ]
I do believe you are trying to satisfy a number of constraints while solving a difficult problem, and that your intentions are good. Accepting a license, however, means that I cannot trust anything that is not in the license. Any restrictions and rights regarding the software (say, BitKeeper) have to be in there, fair, square, and unambiguously, or I won't accept it. I'm sure companies are even more anal about this than I am, especially the ones that are your (potential) customers.
Have you ever considered using the GPL (or similar) for the basic, freely available functionality, and selling vendor added functionality and services to your customers? That way, I think, you get the best of both worlds. I see that it still involves the risk you are afraid of taking now, but I cannot believe that your customers are merely buying a license for the software. Surely you provide lots and lots of additional services? Sell that, and make us all happy. ;-)
You wouldn't be the first to choose this path, others are doing it rather succesfully, I think. Even if you concentrate on the actual software development and not so much the accompanying services, you would still do a lot better than your possible competitors, right? (Being the programmer that you are, I mean. ;-)
This is a time for new business models, and I respect the one you have chosen, even if I don't think it's the best solution.
(By the way, the current changes in business models are not restricted to producers. The way things are going now, the fact that software is Open Source might very well be the reason why consumers will choose to buy it in the first place.)
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