Linux and Philosophy

Jonathan Ellis jonathan at
Sun Jul 17 08:17:20 MDT 2005

On Sat, 16 Jul 2005 23:02:41 -0600, "Richard Esplin" <richjunk1 at>
> If companies only received revenue for support, then wouldn't the
> incentive be 
> to build non-intuitive but useful software in order to increase the
> volume of 
> support calls?
> My epiphany came when I realized that this is the current open source
> business 
> model.

My impression is that this is the business model only for a small
minority of projects.

I think it's far more common to see companies open sourcing things (or
contributing to projects) that are not their main focus, so they can
devote more resources to things that are.  Apache, Linux, and many
others benefit from this.  The rash of projects recently (Cloudscape)
and not-so-recently (Eclipse) open sourced by IBM fall into this
category too.

Not to mention that many projects, even fairly high-profile ones (GAIM,
for instance) manage to do quite well without corporate sponsorship at


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