Following the money in open source

Open source turns money flows inside-out.

Jumbo Shrimp by Gunmetal for Worth1000
Open source turns money flows inside-out.

As I noted before, the development process in open source is transparent, while the use of open source products in the enterprise can be rather opaque.

Open source enterprises end up spending a lot of money on the front-end, building communities, recruiting developers, while the sales cycle becomes continuous.

You don't have the clear breaks you do in the proprietary world, where companies spend big bucks developing new products, then release them and watch the money flow in. The event which would herald this change in cash flow, back in the day, was the press conference.

I went to hundreds of such events in the 1980s and 1990s, and I knew when companies believed they had a winner by the presence of jumbo shrimp on the media buffet. Often this was accompanied by a free bar and even hand-carved tenderloin with horseradish sauce. (Yum.)

The reason you don't see this any more, I feel, is because the cash flow has moved, and become integrated into the development process. Enterprises get some, in the form of code. Developers get some, often in the form of prizes and recognition.

Journalists are mostly left out of the mix on both the editorial and advertising side, and need to seek new ways to be relevant and valuable.

But the question remains, who gets the jumbo shrimp? (The picture, by a user called Gunmetal, was entered in a Worth1000 photo contest on oxymorons.)

[poll id=41]