Martin von Willebrand's Blog

Links to my texts around the web plus some extras.

Posts Tagged ‘open source business models

Legal Tools in Creating an Open Source Project and Business Model

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I explained a number of legal tools that are needed (or should at least be considered) when setting up an open source project or a business model in an article published in Symbio’s publication. It was  based on my presentation at Openmind 2010 (Helsinki).

“The legal rules often play a key role when it comes to business models in software businesses andnotably in free and open source software projects. This is particularly true when the project owner wants to maintain some level of control over the software and the project itself. The balance between control and freedom is achieved by legal tools and policies, such as licenses, compliance policies,contracts, trademarks, organisation rules, contribution policies, only to name a few.” Full article at Symbio’s site:

Written by Martin von Willebrand

August 11, 2011 at 8:44 pm

Challenges in Cloud Service Contracts

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I recently published an article on challenging structures or clauses in typical cloud contracts (in Finnish). In addition to going through these, I assert that most of these are due to the development of the business model. Thus we can expect many of these challenges to become less prominent in the future.

An already overcome example of a challenge is the question on SLAs: today one can purchase service level agreements at different levels, whereas a couple of years ago this was much less available. Today, it is difficult to get a service provider to (even against payment) give some guarantee on data preservation or backups. I think we can expect the services to develop to cover this, e.g. against extra payment.

Addition on 30 December 2010: Bradshaw, Simon, Millard, Christopher and Walden, Ian have made a great and detailed comparison of over 50 or so cloud service contracts and their terms.

Addition on 12 January 2011: Dennis van der Heijden has set up a good comparison on pricing practices covering 317 cloud service providers.

Written by Martin von Willebrand

December 11, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Heavy Discussions on Open Source Business Models

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This summer has brought a lot of discussions and views on open source business models, notably regarding the open core business model.

I’m linking some here, for my own and others’ reference.

As always, Carlo Daffara continues writing on and analysing open source business models and comments the recent open core debate. His basic point is that control on code is a tradeoff against contributions.

Simon Phipps heated up the debate with a post on down-sides of open core. Comments from many (in Simon’s blog there were also comments by Mårten Mickos and Henrik Ingo):

Mark Radcliffe, not agreeing and arguing that open core should not be demonized, and it serves a purpose for the FOSS community,

Mårten Mickos, although agreeing to some points, basically sees open core as a necessary tool,

Carlo Daffara, restating that open core strategy trades off contributions and thus requires more development expenditure or the like.

These deserve some thinking. A business needs value to be traded, but how can and should the value be optimised? That will depend on the type of software/service, and every business experimenting with these is welcomed by me at least.

It all comes down to the value offered: as long as a business is able to leverage more value than other relevant vendors, it will thrive. The value offered can be e.g. service for it-departments, software license, cloud service for users, or an existing user base (e.g. Facebook).

The other side of the coin is the cost to keep the business up and running, developing with innovation. Here the community becomes relevant, as does the ease of contribution, and the existing user-base.

Written by Martin von Willebrand

July 28, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Customer Collaboration Talk at Openmind

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My talk on customer collaboration as an open business model at Openmind on 1st October 2009 was posted (in good time) at the site

My slides in English.

It was a great event, a lot of people from abroad and Finland. Ebox (Ignacio Correas), (Henry Palonen), Tampere city (Teppo Sulonen) and Maemo Community, N900 (Quim Gil) are the ones I remember best. I sadly missed Peter Chengs presentation.

Written by Martin von Willebrand

November 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm

Collaboration of Customers: Vendor and Purchaser Perspectives

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I referred earlier to my article at Fossbazaar on collaboration of customers as an open business model.

It is actually pretty much the vendor view taken into account the benefits for the client (or purchaser). But you might be interested to look at what Kartik Subbarao wrote on interdependent it systems. Kartik’s view is actually that of a purchaser of an it system. Kartik also adds some steps of personal learning to understanding openness.

I find these two to be the two sides of the same coin. Vendor and purchaser perspectives on collaboration. A vendor that adopts and encourages customer collaboration would suit really well to the purchaser described by Kartik.

Written by Martin von Willebrand

September 16, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Customer Collaboration as an Open Business Model

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I just published a blog on customer collaboration as a business model, at It is basically something I have started to see, after having worked with Validos for some time.

Working with Validos (and letting the idea sink, by time) has brought ideas to me on another collaboration possibilities and I’ve also been contacted by some, who have seen the strength in this type of collaboration. I expect to be able to discuss some other practical collaboration examples, besides Validos, before the end of the year.

Written by Martin von Willebrand

August 31, 2009 at 10:57 am