The color of open source money is a curious case.
There are those organizations that make money from open source technologies, with or without making contributions back to the software itself. There also are commercial open source software vendors, who do add value to the underlying open source technology by enhancing the solution and providing support for it. And then there are commercial software vendors who extend the capability of the open source solution with proprietary solutions. And, last but not least, some cloud providers' business model involves building SaaS solutions based on free open source technology.
Some of the above business models are deemed to be more acceptable by the open source community than others.
Now, one would think that the color of the money should be the same, but it is not. Especially the cloud companies may be seen as blood-sucking parasites that abuse the "system", particularly when not contributing back. Yet they seem to be making the most money from it. And while some cloud providers do feed part of that money back to open source consulting companies to enhance and support their solutions, they are not necessarily sharing those enhancements with the community. So does that make them more acceptable?
The color of open source money is much discussed these days, and with this talk, I'm looking to examine some of the aspects of it a little closer with you, and offer my perspective on the different shades of it and acceptable balance on commercial efforts to justify the investments needed for the sustainability of the project.
Eero Teerikorpi - Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board, a seven (7) time serial entrepreneur, brings more than 30 years of high tech management and enterprise software experience to Continuent. He is also a founding partner at Blue White Partners. Eero has held executive management positions at various cross-Atlantic entities, including as President at Capslock, Executive Board Member at Esker S.A. and CEO at Alcom Corporation. Eero has never had a bankruptcy, nor a divorce having been married 30 years, and is the proud father of two highly successful daughters.