Saturday, April 05, 2008

Collaborative Commercial Ideas

We have seen successful products built in the open source model, if we can categories, the open source products into 2 major buckets:

1. Free Open Source - products that are built by community & offered for free usage by the members & there is not really any $ profit considered by the developers of the community. These open source products fall into various categories - development tools & technologies - example: Hibernate, tools & utilities - example: RealVNC. Overall this section of the open source products are not built for making money

2. Open Source, but commercial business model around it - products in this section are started as open source, the code & product is built using the community help or built by few smart guys & make it open for the community (this case is more), these kind of products are made open source help in fixing bugs & to get the backing of community. Commercial aspect of the product will be achieved by one of the means - add-on feature, technical support etc. Jboss is a very good example in this category, that was so popular as open source / commercial mix - it was acquired by Redhat group for $$

What I'm proposing is a concept to use the power of open source / collaboration & ability to build an idea into a successful fully commercial product, below are the aspects involved -
  • Group / Community is created for discussion of ideas in selected space or domain
  • Community is closed network not really open - but folks in this community are invited or join with an intention to collaborate on an idea
  • Community is bound to NDA conditions & not allowed to take away the idea to build separately
  • Idea is hardened or collaborated by the people in the community
  • Required PoC's & initial demo's for the product are built by the group
  • Commercial grade software is built with the help of each & member in the group
Result... each member of the community will hold equal share / equity in the new product that is being built, each member takes on different roles / ownership to take the idea forward. Used the power of community & collaboration in building a commercial grade product, which could help members in the community to retire from their full-time jobs!

Sounds... interesting, we should explore this!

Thanks
Bhaskara

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