Benefits of an open source model

I rode public transit today (always good for the soul) and had a chance to listen to some of the many podcasts that I’ve downloaded to my iPod. One I found particularly interesting was a recording of Larry Augustine’s talk at the Open Source Business Conference held in San Francisco in April of 2005.

If you want to hear the podcast yourself, you can check it out in iTunes — it’s Episode 12.

Basically, Larry argued two things — one is that large applications (CRM, ERP, etc.) are the “next wave” of open source development and the other is that the open source business model can actually lead to more profits than the traditional “broken” model of selling enterprise software for large license fees.

bdg already offers one product as open source — the PHP EDK, but this podcast made me start to rethink our model. Perhaps all of our products should be free and we should continue to make our money off services, maintenance and support.

bdg-podcastI ruminate (publicly) on this topic in the third episode of the bdg Plumtree Podcast, which also covers the Plumtree->AquaLogic name changes.

I’m interested to hear your thoughts as well.

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