Saturday, February 27, 2010


Thoughts on Open Source and Dual Licensing

Redmonk analyst Stephen O'Grady commented on dual licensing. I have my own thoughts on dual licensing as a business model...

The folks over at the 451 Group have stated dual licensing is the practice of selling exceptions to use an open source code base using a commercial license, while open core licensing is the practice of selling extensions to an open source code base. The open source community at large believes one is goodness and the other is not. You decide which one :-)

Dual licensing has diminished in popularity as many commercial open source entities have opted for open core extensions as a quicker way to monetize community adoption.

One perspective that is missing on dual licensing is the perspective of the enterprise which have their own perspectives as to whether dual licensing is a good thing. If the enterprise has decided to spend money on software, then by definition, they think that others should adopt a similar model. Many contracts have clauses that align with the concept of most favorable nation which says that that many want to ensure they get the lowest price possible. If the second license is free then it makes these types of clauses problematic.

More importantly, enterprise confusion is introduced as it changes the model of influence or at least makes it less clear. Enterprises spend money for influence. The more that is expended, the more influence they believe they have. By introducing another model that isn't built on this premise, erodes the ability of the enterprise to influence through traditional means.

The hype of the minute is cloud computing which also serves to diminish the need for dual and/or open core approaches. As business models around SAAS continue to grow the need to distribute software in traditional terms will decline causing the issue of dual licensing to go the way of the dinosaur...

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Sunday, February 07, 2010


My Thoughts on Industry Analysts and Blogging

Carter Lusher of SageCircle shared perspectives on the recent changes at Forrester and how their new blogging policies would prevent analysts from having personal blogs and would aggregate analysts’ posts into Forrester-branded role-based blogs.

I think there is a lot missing from the conversation that is important for those who are consumers of analyst services to understand. my personal take is that Forrester is not interested in limiting employees’ involvement in Social Media or their ability to blog on personal subjects. Analysts are in the business of socialization and effective communication and it would be silly if they did something that was in conflict with this goal. Analysts should be free to explore topics whether personal in nature or even controversial topics such as politics. I am a firm believer that from incite comes insight.

Another portion of the community believes that Forrester's move is really about limiting the ability for analysts to build personal brand. I am of the camp, that if your employer provides each analyst with their own blogging platform and will combine it with driving traffic too it, the analysts will have even more opportunity to build their personal brand while also building the brand of their employer. This equates to a win-win.

I think the challenge is less about Forrester and more about the individual. If I had to give up my personal blog or Twitter account would I be frustrated? Absolutely. This blog has become part of my digital identity and I have invested hundreds of hours into making it successful. I would however say that the future of the platform provided to analysts could make it worthwhile to walk away from one's own blog for something better...

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