Community: Open Source a Development model?

Yesterday professor Alfonso Fuggetta, CEO and Scientific Director of CEFRIEL, posted a comment to an article describing OS as development model. Reading the article I understood Dana Blankenhorn got inspired by someonelse thoughts, and I got by Billy Marshall blog.

I shudder every time I read a blog post or article by some “expert” that proclaims that open source is a “business model” predicated on providing customers “good support” and that open source is fundamentally different from proprietary software. Hogwash.

I totally agree, of course. Open Source is not a business model, there are quite a few indeed.
Some firms taking advantage of intrinsic free software characteristics developed new services and business models, not based on code production.
But I strongly disagree with the following:

Open source is not a business model, it is a development model.

I see many development models, based on very different approaches, but some of them are just like the proprietary ones, like others are dramatically different (see my work on the case of Debian GNU/Linux).

Getting back to the business, read here:

Red Hat spends 47% of revenue on SG&A while Oracle spends 25%.

That’s really interesting, and bring me back to something I’ve already mentioned in a previous post: commercial off-the-shelf open source software is found by users, but it’s not trivial to turn them into customers.
And it’s even more complicated if you’re not the only one to deliver such services. A “weak” intellectual property asset is risky from different angles.

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