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The Business Case For Open Source

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The Business Case For Open Source

  1. 1. The Business Case for Open Source Oliver Steele May 4, 2005
  2. 2. Contribution Status  Metrics  Contributors  Contributions  Related projects 2
  3. 3. Customer value: Closed-source model ! Value of a customer: ! Revenue ! Market feedback ! Reference ! Closed source model: conversion is a bottleneck for value ! Review – prospects may not say why they stopped the eval, especially in an unguided evaluation ! Reference – Only customers are referenceable Laszlo Systems, Inc. 3
  4. 4. User value: Open-source model ! Open source distinguishes between users and customers ! Open source model: ! Revenue: open source model increases the pool of evaluators, length of time during which a prospect can convert – but decreases chance that any individual prospect will convert ! Review: non-customers and unfunded developers provide a larger pool for market feedback feedback ! Reference: Referenceable users > referenceable customers ! Other values of increased user base ! External contributions ! External evangelism Laszlo Systems, Inc. 4 4
  5. 5. User contributions ! Positive feedback loops increase pool size for conversion ! Increased market feedback ! More developers – remove revenue conversion as a bottleneck for market feedback ! Grain of salt – sampling bias from nonpaying customers ! Increased marketing ! External contributors have an interest in the success of the project ! External marketing contributions are more credible than internal marcom ! Removal of revenue conversion as a bottleneck for deployments Laszlo Systems, Inc. 5 5
  6. 6. Contribution Sequence Program management Project management Event organization Technical leadership Event participation Feature design Degree of engagement Books Feature implementation Technical articles Feature review ! White papers Code review ! References* ! Vendor integration ! Demos ! Component contributions Market feedback* ! Bug fixes !Public response* ! Bug fix verification ! Blog postings ! Bug reporting Marketing Development Contributions Contributions * Referenceable applications, market feedback, and effective response to public critiques can’t effectively be accomplished in-house even with infinite resources. Laszlo Systems, Inc. 6 6
  7. 7. Development Resources ! Activities above the line support activities below the line ! Closed development requires direct funding of activities below the line ! Open development requires (less) funding of activities above the line ! Bold items are active Laszlo Systems, Inc. 7 7
  8. 8. Enabling Contributors Marketing Development ! Program management ! Project management ! Incentive programs ! Technical leadership ! Collateral ! Incentive programs ! Data sheets ! Community infrastructure ! Logo program ! Mailing lists ! ! Promotion ! ! Wiki ! Articles ! Code exchange ! Blog entries ! Recipe exchange ! Applications ! Build infrastructure ! Test infrastructure Laszlo Systems, Inc. 8 8
  9. 9. Proposed Contribution Metrics ! Downloads ! Forum activity (posters, new posters, posts) ! Mailing list activity (posters, new posters, posts) ! Site traffic (ol, laszlo, and a representative project) ! Technorati traffic ! Google ! Contributors ! Contributions ! External bug reporters ! External bug reports Laszlo Systems, Inc. 9
  10. 10. Proposed Next Steps ! Define adoption & contribution metrics ! Create community site ! Component exchange ! Searchable, commentable documentation ! Regular news and announcements ! Remove development barriers ! Build system ! Test system ! Directory structure ! Facilitate marketing contributions ! Describe platform features on web site ! Publicize commercial and non-commercial successes ! Create logo/branding program (if we can iron out the issues) Laszlo Systems, Inc. 10 10
  11. 11. Risks  Cannibalizing paid support  Expenses (managing, enabling external developers)*  Distraction * Although, many of these expenses are the same as those necessary to competently manage and enable internal developers too. 11

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