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FOSS Vs Proprietary Software

It is always interesting that every time I get involved in a discussion about FOSS and Proprietary software, the FOSS enthusiasts always take on an activist approach. This in my opinion becomes the biggest hurdle that faces FOSS entrepreneurs. When I train the FOSS business models course, I am always keen to remind the participants to focus on the business.

In trying to explain the difference between FOSS and Proprietary software, in addition to mentioning the 4 basic freedoms of FOSS, it is also interesting to explain the difference in the business models. This explanation, from experience, is what entrepreneurs relate with best. It is all in the business model. The FOSS business model provides opportunity to make money from the providing solutions, the software is not for sale. FOSS is free. What FOSS entrepreneurs bill for are the services/solutions that they provide to other businesses or organisations.

With this approach, it is easier to escape the activist mentality. Happy Training!

1. Four freedoms of FOSS

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