OSS Saves Marketing Costs, Protects Business

VA Linux founder Larry Augustin on OSS

In Augustin’s view open source development became a necessity in the 1990s when the cost of marketing a program came to exceed the cost of creating it. “My favorite is Salesforce.com. In 1995 they spent under $10 million in R&D and over $100 million in sales and marketing. That doesn’t work.”

“Open source enables people to reach all those customers. It’s a distribution model. The people who create great software can now reach the rest of the world.”

Businesses get the most protection from the GPL, he insisted. “They get protection from competition.” The license’s insistence on reciprocity means no one can take the code you wrote, tweak it, then compete with you.

Open Source Shifts Costs

Does open source free your budget up for the best talent?

I asked her if the choice to go with open source is helping her to keep costs in check, here’s what [Dabble CEO Mary Hodder] said:

What happens with open source is you actually spend the same amount of money, but you don’t have lock-in and you pay for really good people to run it. And so you still end up paying. But you just pay in a different place. And I think it’s a much more sustainable model for that kind of server/software development.

Found in south by southwest festivals + conferences

What’s Zimbra?

They say “Zimbra is a community for building and maintaining next generation collaboration technology.” What I’d like to know, however, is whether Zmbra is a community driven, social software answer to the problems of groupware — typically driven by management’s needs.