Open source offers a fantastic way to reach developers and users of one's technology. Ironically, however, the very group most inclined to adopt open source is the least likely to pay for it.
Therefore, to make an open-source business thrive in enterprise software, vendors must learn to distinguish between developer-users and IT operations-buyers. As I'll explain, however, open-source companies may need to guard against becoming too successful in order to preserve their exit opportunities.
It is, of course, quite possible to make money in open source. Lots of it. Red Hat, for example, is approaching $1 billion in … Read more