Open Source Strategies

A blog about open source software and business models, enterprise software, and the opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Suite.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

It's All About Great Software

What did we learn from 2006? For me, it's the realization that our job as developers is simply to create "great software"--software that can address the needs of real users, whether it's open source or commercial.

The open source model has several strong advantages in creating better software. It allows us to stay close to our users, listen to them, and incorporate features as they are really needed. The flexible development style and collaborative (rather than adversarial) relationship between users and developers could create better results at dramatically lower costs. In addition, our users often can help us to innovate in wholly unexpected directions.

But commercial software also has its advantages. The biggest advantage of the commercial software model is being able to spread the development costs across a large number of users. It can also support a more focused development approach and, if properly directed, bring about a good product faster. (Granted, that's a big "if.") These advantages can be especially valuable when the software is intended for non-technical users.

So it's time to get past the "open source good, commercial bad" and just focus on making better software.

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