Sunday, April 06, 2008

source code trivia

From the start, SigBlips utilized the services business model to support the development of the baudline signal analyzer. Customers pay for the addition of new features and custom modifications. More baudline users lead to a larger pool of potential customers which lead to more paying customers. The key with the success of this model is to get as large a product distribution as possible. It's all about the numbers.

Back in 2001 Red Hat had just finished a very successful IPO and they were the dominant Linux distribution for scientific desktop users. Red Hat seemed like a perfect match for finding more baudline customers and improving our fledgling services model. So at Linux World 2001 we talked to a couple managers at the Red Hat booth about including baudline in the Red Hat distribution. We made an offer of open sourcing the code if baudline would be included in a future Red Hat release. We thought it was a very generous offer but to our surprise and great disappointment the offer was rejected.

Several years later. Still wanting to increase our baudline user base, we decided to attempt the open source mass distribution route again. We signed up and submitted an application to VA Software's Source Forge. Again, to our great surprise and disappointment our offer was rejected. The reason was something ridiculous about baudline not being useful. Who would of thought that Source Forge rejects applications? Well they do.

After the disillusionment of being rejected by Linux's two most successful IPO'd companies we decided to reevaluate our open source strategy and ask some very intriguing questions. What is the value of source code? How best can it be monetized? Can operating in the free software space be profitable? Careful analysis of these questions is how the hybrid SigBlips dual licensing model happened to be. Today, the source code for the baudline signal analyzer can be purchased.