An anonymous reader writes:
I’m interested in creating really good open source software. However, unless programmers have an incentive to work on their projects for long periods, many projects are be abandoned.
There’s many business models surrounding free/libre open source software: support (pay for help, or additional features), premium (pay for more advanced software), hosting (pay for using the software on someone else’s servers), donation (two versions of the same app, pay because you want to be nice to the developers), etc. Not all of those business models align the interests of the developer and the customer/user in the same way: support-based models for example, benefit developers who introduce certain mistakes or delay introducing features. (In the short term. In the long run, it opens a door for competitors…) Which of those align the interests of both?
The original submission also asks if any of these models are “morally questionable” — and if there’s other business models that have proven successful for open source software. Leave your best thoughts in the comments. What’s the best business model for an open source developer?
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