What's missing in open source companies?

Successful open source companies don't have big marketing budgets.

Marketing.

Successful open source companies don't have big marketing budgets.

This is both natural and inevitable. Marketing has limited utility when the "product" costs nothing. Those open source companies that have put money in marketing, like Novell, are often looked-upon suspiciously as a result.

That's not to say open source is all developers, support, and Webmastering.

One position that is not dumped in the open source companies I cover is what might be called corporate sales. Relationship managers who meet with and schmooze enterprises are unsung heroes. And heroines.

The big money in open source comes from support revenue paid by corporations for bug fixes, updates, and the like. One of the big stories of this year, as in the Eclipse story below, is the effort by projects to automate this whole process.

Because we're talking about open source, moreover, any solution to this problem will be shared generally. Again, the result may well be programmers and Web people cutting out sales and marketing.

Is that really a bad thing?

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