January 2011: The Business of Open Source

An open source business is a business centered around an open source offer. Companies can engage with open source projects in different ways: they can release code as open source and hope to increase the adoption of their solution; they can contribute to community-initiated open source projects and leverage the solutions the community develops; they can offer complementary services and products that add value to an open source product; and they can reduce the cost and risk of product development by pooling their non-core efforts with other companies.

This issue contains six articles. The first two articles discuss cost reduction through open source, and best practices for multi-vendor open source communities. The remaining articles were contributed by graduate students in a class on Open Source Business in the Technology Innovation Management program at Carleton University in Ottawa. This course explored why companies participate in open source projects, how companies manage communities around their open source offers, and how companies make money from the open source projects they initiated or contribute to.

In This Issue: