[glugot] Free Software Business Strategy Guide (Norbert Bollow)

  • From: Joe Steeve <joe_steeve@xxxxxxx>
  • To: GLUGOT <glugot@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2004 14:31:53 +0530

Free Software Business Strategy Guide 
Edited by Norbert Bollow 

Version 0.24 

October 10, 2004 

Abstract:This Net.Book outlines strategies for running a
successful business while at the same time making valuable
contributions to the Free Software community.

If you like this net.book...  If you like this document, you may
also be interested in the Monthly Email Letter of Freedom
Investments.  Recent Changes

Version 0.24: Added a link to Francesco Potortì's software
licenses article. 

Version 0.23: Toned down the last sentence of the introduction,
which was possibly overly optimistic. Added a comment that in the
case of team leadership, it is not necessary to have a formal
coaching relationship. 

A Free Software business is a company which does not exist solely
to earn as much money as possible without incurring unacceptable
risks; it's a company where contributing to the development and
improvement of Free Software, and upholding the principles of the
Free Software movement, are among the basic values of the
company. (Here the term "Free Software" refers to computer
programs where every user has rights to read and modify the source
code, and also rights to redistribute the software, with or
without changes, as source code or in binary form. The Free
Software Foundation maintains a precise definition which can be
found at http://www.fsf.org/philosophy/free-sw.html . There are
also people who, because of differing views on matters of
philosophy, see appendix B, prefer the term "open source".) 

Many Free Software businesses are pure information technology
companies. However it is also possible for a Free Software
business to earn money primarily outside the information
technology sector, while developing and publishing Free Software
as part of the company's marketing plan. 

Many people seem to think that commercial software (i.e. software
that is produced for commercial reasons) cannot be Free
Software. I disagree with this view, and I want to encourage the
creation of a large number of Free Software companies,
i.e. companies which develop commercial Free Software. The purpose
of this document is to show to create a Free Software company and
how to make it very profitable. Free Software companies need to
have a business system which differs from how proprietary software
companies operate, but they can be economically successful. In
fact I believe that the only thing that is impossible to do with a
Free Software company is to create an illegal monopoly (that is
what US courts found Microsoft Inc. to be guilty of). There are no
monopolies in the realm of Free Software business, and I predict
that this will make Free Software businesses so much more
productive than their competitors with proprietary products that
it can be expected that Free Software will certainly dominate at
least some segments of the information technology market. (One
area where this is not likely to happen is commercial computer
games, see Appendix D).

| .O. | A proud GNU user
| ..O | http://www.joesteeve.tk/
| OOO | http://gnukid.shyper.com/

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