101 Ways to Make Money off Open Source

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The list “101 Reasons Why Java is Better than .NET” was such a hit that even a vendor of .NET based software wrote that it was a source of “101 Product Ideas”. 

That motivated me to put together another list. Lately, I’ve been thinking of how to make money on open source Java.  I asked a supposed expert, but he didn’t answer. So I decided to consult the Hive Mind by building a list. I hope to get a lot of creative contributions.  It’s the “Lazy Web” in action! 

So why 101, well just like with my previous list the reasons are the same.  “101 reasons is actually a pretty ambitious number, however its always good to aim high first.  If you don’t succeed you could always relax the criteria for success! ”  So here’s the latest accumulated list: 

  1. Sell the Reference Manual ( JBoss)

  2. Sell a subscription of the documentation (CDN)

  3. Sell the Installer (Out of the Box)

  4. Sell Custom Software Development (CDN)

  5. Sell Pre-Integrated Applications (JCorporate, RedHat ACS)

  6. Sell “Enterprise” version. (WSAD, Sun Studio)

  7. Sell Extensions (Instantiations, Embarcadero, SlickEdit )

  8. Sell a Consumer Device (Tivo)

  9. Sell Proprietary Software by improving Open Source Software (Poseidon)

  10. Sell Code Management Services (Sourceforge, Sourcecast)

  11. Sell Hosting Services (JCentric, WebApp Cabaret, EApps)

  12. Sell an Application Service Provider (?)

  13. Sell Conferences (JBoss)

  14. Charge for changing the License (SOFIA)

  15. Sue people using Open Source (SCO)

  16. Publish books for Open Source (Oreilly, Manning, Wiley)

  17. Sell A Book (Jason Hunter, Martin Fowler)

  18. Sell Development Tools (see Adalon, Camino for Struts)

  19. Sell a Magazine (Open source magazine)

  20. Sell Business Applications (Compiere, Ofbiz)

  21. Sell Speaking Engagements (NFJS)

  22. Sell Open Source Migration Services

  23. Sell White Box Hardware (Penguin)

  24. Sell A Subscription Plan for Integrated Components (MyEclipse)

  25. Sell A Network Appliance (SourceFire)

  26. Sell Project Management Services (Assembla)

  27. Sell Training (CDN)

  28. Sell Adverstising (SourceForge, Javalobby, TheServerSide)

  29. Sell A Proprietary Product, Advertise using Open Source (RefactorIT)

  30. Sell Computer Time (Internet Cafe)

  31. Sell Gaming Time (?)

  32. Sell Proprietary Software built using Open Source Software Tools (Ant, JUnit, Eclipse)

  33. Sell Proprietary Software Bundling Open Source Software (WebMethods, Cysive)

  34. Sell Support and Maintenance Plans (JBoss)

  35. Sell Certification (JBoss)

  36. Sell Systems Administration Services

  37. Sell On-Site Consulting and Coaching (CDN)

  38. Sell Remote Debugging and Trouble Shooting (CDN) [duplicate of 34?]

  39. Sell Open Source Application Specialized for a Particular Domain (Timesys for Realtime domains, Xemo for Music)

  40. Sell Accessories ( ThinkGeek , JoyOfTech )

  41. Sell Network Usage ( iMode )

  42. Solicit Donations
  43. Sell Glue to tie it all together (10xSoftware, platinum solutions )
  44. Sell PDAs (Sharp)
  45. Sell Cellphones (Motorola Linux based)
  46. Sell Insurance (Open Source Risk Management)

If you were observant enough, you would notice that the list has a slant towards Java open source projects.  That’s just my bias.


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