The Uneasy Relationship Between Open Source and Profit

Dana Blankenhorn | | October 5, 2011

The biggest problem any open source company has is maintaining motivation. You don't just want money. You also want mindshare. The attention paid you, in the form of developer time, is a currency that grows both the project and the customer's devotion to it. At the same time, the benefits of open source flow most freely when you become more than a customer. It's only when you're committed to a project, when you have people who really understand it, that you gain its full benefits.

When open source was new, right after the dot-bomb, there were a lot of unemployed programmers running around. Today's recession is mostly impacting those without education. Skilled programmers have options. Educated people of all types have opportunities. So we can't grow open source today with a recession mentality...