Business model of Web 2.0 Part 3 "open source"

Long tail,Beta versionIn this way,Web 2.0Although I have been looking at the business model on the subject, the third is "Open Source"It is the foundation that supports everything in Web 2.0.

In this case the source refers to the source code of the program. This is "open source", so that anyone can see this if you wish. And making it open source means that anyone can generate executable files etc from the source code.

For example, Windows source code is not released except for some. If Windows were all open source, free Windows is created using that source code, anyone can freely download and install it. But when this happens, Microsoft will not make a profit.

Nonetheless, open source is a business model, in fact there are successful companies. I wonder why?
First of all, it is necessary to understand that the open source business model is roughly divided into two types. In other words, it is two patterns of using open source and making side. First is an example of using side.

· Used side: Cost reduction
Since open source is free of charge, purchase cost is unnecessary, and cost can be reduced just by using it. In particular, if you use it internally and do not involve the distribution of software, you do not have to make it public even if you modify the source code, so if you can customize as much as you wish according to your business and if you do it yourself There will be no external cost for customization. Amazon and Google that I mentioned in the previous example are just examples and both companies have adopted open source for the internal system that is the foundation of service delivery and succeeded in saving millions of dollars annually.

· Used side: Reduced development time
Adopting open source not only reduces costs but also reduces development time than developing from scratch at the same time. For example, there is a movement to adopt Linux as a built-in OS for mobile phones and home appliances, for example. While reducing cost, it is already under development to some extent, so it can be commercialized without taking time, and further time reduction by diverting the same system even when making the next product There is also the aspect that it becomes possible. Even in terms of securing developers, if you already have an open source, you can take advantage of the previous workplace and work experience as it is in actual battle, so there is a merit that the education period and the training period can be shortened.

Next, an example of the making side.

· Creating side: Support provided
Open source provided by Red Hat or JBoss can obtain and use the product itself for free, but it can not receive support such as maintenance. Separately, you can receive maintenance by connecting an annual contract, and you can receive support. You can understand by reading the following link

About purchasing Red Hat Enterprise Linux

@ IT: Java product introduction: JBoss 3

In addition, although the cost reduction and the reduction of time are raised by the above "using side", it is tough as business if it does not work properly even if it can reduce how much, or if support and maintenance are not tight. Therefore, a business model will come out that profits are obtained by providing such a support suite. Since the platform itself is free open source, it can be tried easily without expanding the base of the user as it is free. In other words, open source is fulfilling the role of seizing future customers by lowering the threshold.

· Creating side: dual license
It is a mechanism to secure profit by dividing it into a commercial license and a free license. For example, a database named MySQL can be used free of charge, but commercial licenses also exist.

MySQL license / commercial license Quick response

There are the following differences.

MySQL AB :: Comparison of MySQL Network and MySQL Community Edition

The key price is as follows.

MySQL Online Shop: MySQL Support with MySQL Network

· Creating side: basic function is free, extended function is charged
Combine different commercial services and products, or low-end versions are free and high-end versions are charged models. Specifically, "SugarCRM" adopts that model. License is not GPL, but by adopting SUGARCRM PUBLIC LICENSE, it sells the extended function separately.


Changes made to the source code are licenses that feel that it is necessary to distribute to the open source community only when redistributing it and can not sell the changed code. In other words, it prevents the appearance of rival by free ride.

It is a business model that secures users with a free version and sells those functions to customers who need more functions.

On the difference between paid version and free version

The fundamental way of thinking is the same as what used to be a conventional model, "High-performance software gets higher price". In this case, it is crucial to clear licensing problems and open source problems by clearly performing carving.

· Does the community generate profits?
The easiest to misunderstand is the association with the community. Initially it is developed from the needs of individuals and used by people of the same type seeking similar things, and a development community is formed. In other words, users are initially equal to developers.

In order to be established as a business model, it is the key to how to expand to other than this initial user. This is because initial users can join the development community so that they can modify any number of free versions of open source. That is, it is not a customer. As mentioned earlier, customers pay for that function alone or for shortening time.

It is inevitable that supporting will become a business if you think so. If there is something you do not understand, the person who examines everything on your own is a minority, and people reading emphasis on only a majority of results can not communicate with "manual reading", which is why polite support is established as a business model. It is said that this is the reason why the initial open source development community was hard to succeed as a business.

Also, if you say an open source community, you will only be looking at the side of development, but you should not forget that there is a community of users using it. By reflecting the opinion of the side actually used, the quality of the deliverables will rise.

Therefore, open source that does not get support of the community, or open source that the community does not grow up, can naturally be broken down as a business model.

A common mistaken explanation is that "an open source community is supported and developed by various developers around the world." In fact, it is a feeling that open source developers established as a business model are employees and developers of a specific company, they develop them mainly, and the community supports and supports it. This means that volunteer developers and researchers all over the world who work free of charge like the one before ago do not combine time and technology to make it necessary.

For example, in the case of "JBoss" given above as an example, there are more than 1000 developers belonging to the community, but 90% of the source code is written by 50 developers within JBoss. As a business model, it is a pattern that raises profit by consulting service and support.

· Meaning that open source will be a business model
For this, I will quote as the text of the site below most accurately expresses it.

Commercial open source future: ITExpress

"I believe it is essential to commercialize new technologies such as OSS, biotechnology, nanotechnology, podcasts, and the Web as a trend, as early pioneers of OSS who did not aim for wealth Thank you very much, but commercialization is making these technologies available for a long time, there are several closed-source large enterprises that only want to prove that OSS does not hold business After all, if the OSS has no profitability, it will end up in a transient epidemic and will disappear, so that these large companies will stop making open source only for their tongue, and in the original way In other words, if we do not pay expensive service fees, we will revert to a time when high prices are attached to complex software that no one can use. "

In addition, although only two companies, "Redhat" and "MySQL", are making profits at companies that mainly deal with open source at the moment, it is expected to increase even if there are more unlisted companies It is being done.

in Software,   Web Service,   Column, Posted by darkhorse_log