Category Archives: Open Source Business

A great combination: Open Source and business

An honest company

Imagine a company that practices total, uncompromising honesty in their advertising. If they have a great product they’ll say so. And if they’re trying to sell you something mediocre, they’ll tell you that too. They might actively warn you along the lines of “Don’t expect good service from these people” or “The product here is nothing to write home about”, or even “If you have any complaints talk to Benny. If he breaks down crying, ignore it, it’s just a trick he uses.”

Do you think a company like that could possibly survive?

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Free books

A lot of people talk content. Baen are delivering, and have been for a couple of years. And oh yeah – successfully! Most of their books are available on paper or as ebooks, and in many cases you can read the first few chapters for free.

In the Baen Free Library you can find free books by some of their authors, to read on your PC or Palm. Be sure to read the opening rant by Eric Flint, it’s informative and funny.
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Profit for nonprofits

I read about Pioneer Human Services in a book, and it blew me away. They operate a succesful company that employs among others ex-convicts and drug addicts – the people who most need jobs, but usually can’t get them. They also provide housing, training, counselling and other services. And most of this is paid for through the revenue that the company generates, instead of by public or private grants. There’s an excellent article in Fast Company about them.

And because they make their own money, they don’t need to spend much time or energy asking for grants – they can spend their time actually helping people who need it. I have the deepest respect for people who have the creativity to come up with such a vision and the determination to make it happen. Knowing that initiatives like this can succeed makes me feel good abour our common future.