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Author Topic: Free Software Magazine Article on Community Funding of Large Software Projects  (Read 2343 times)
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« on: March 18, 2008, 10:47:16 AM »

Free Software Magazine is a very nice website that discusses mainstream open source developments and issues, and frequently writes about funding issues for small open source developers.  Here's a nice piece on funding of larger projects.

... Myth #4
“Free software is great, but some projects take real money. There’s no way the community can raise those funds.”

The truth is that it is hard for the free culture community to raise actual cash for projects, but it has been done. And there are parallels with mainstream culture that suggest it can be taken even further.
Starting commercial with Blender

A number of large-scale projects in the free software world—such as Mozilla, Zope, OpenOffice.org, and Blender—started out as fairly standard commercial/proprietary development projects. During their incubation phase, the simplicity and structure of a commercial environment with capital investment and salaried programmers made their development fairly straightforward. It was only after these programs had released operational software that their supporting companies made the decision to go to free software distribution.
Communities certainly can raise funds if the community is large enough and there is a high level of trust that the contributions will produce results. The free culture community has about an order of magnitude to go to catch up to such mainstream funding levels, but there’s every reason to believe that the potential for that kind of growth is there.

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« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2008, 04:01:08 AM »

Interesting article. I'd say free software is in need of venture capitalists, but that's an oxymoron; what is needed are wealthy supporters and backers like a Mark Shuttleworth of Ubuntu fame. Dropping $100 million into something never hurts.

- zaine (on Google+)
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