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There is no such thing as a free lunch

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There is no such thing as a free lunch
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There is no such thing as a free lunch On being an open source citizen Have you ever wondered? - Why do people write software for nothing? - How do those volunteers earn a living? - How do those companies pay wages? - How much did it cost to put this event on? - Is there really such as thing as a free beer let alone free software? - Is there any obligation on me as a user of open source software to contribute? - How can I contribute to open source if I am not a developer? This talk will explore the open source business model and the motivations of individuals, organisations and businesses that contribute to open source projects. It will hopefully prompt a discussion on what might be reasonably expected of users of open source software.
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again and but it's just to save itself had differs from the earlier this year or rather English ET somewhere in the middle of London and is 1 of the few people people who who I think have really shown and that you can be an open source offenders and this is the 2nd person while remaining nice and traditional personnel and quite often it's set to that of the source and this is don't go well together well he is living proof of the country like you and May the Force be with you so it bugs me when
people say that open source isn't free because you have to pay for support services it bugs me when people complain about bugs in the open source software but don't do anything about it some this is an involving thought processes I want you to start to think about why people should be paying for free software as it's an evolving so process I call it a beta version some
right up front let me make some confessions to by men and that is the list I'm a business person was not so unknown account right and this talk is about evangelism for business within an open source community and so just bear that in mind to
have you ever wondered what makes free hand free software what I mean is it something that you think about what I want to do is I wanna talk to the community they usually this talk is addressed primarily to users of open source software but this is a community of people who make software developed the software and what I wanna do is give you a few thoughts about how you can't imagine to users and potential users the reason that they should engage with professional open-source businesses and how they can move from just being the users of free software to contributors to open source software and I think sometimes in this community and where suspicious of businesses with an open source here but I think there's a very different attitude within sister community at location text and I think in this regard probably in many other accounts as well we can learn from them as I'm sure they can learn from us so a
couple of questions for you to wake you up you should be sitting there for a while who
here works for a company but responsible to cut company or organization responsible to come here
OK who is an individual has come under their own book just looking around the room that tells you something how many of you
will be in academia or the public sector not so quite
a lot of people working in academia and public centers sponsored to come here OK and now how many of you develop or consult with open source to yourself so that's quite a lot of you OK so we're on the right track here and
so on and finally out of those people how many people actually contribute well
OK so this is a code writing all hands of people
mainly from IGO business background working papers to be here said have
you you ever click the donate button now this is a question that I would ask to users very frequently and it's a question that you should be asking to free to to users to click the bottom ofthis occasionally on them but I gave this talk a while ago and Wall posts and put their hand up and said that they clicked on the donated by you know I used to just for the fun and I donated to the Futures project because it's such a cool project you know I mean if people write software somebody needs to find a way to help them to keep on so what
I'm going to talk about here is a little bit about but the falsity community I think business is important to the vast BG community how the business models work and many of you may know this of what it means for you in your organization when you're talking to your customers how you might use this information so I
start by by quoting Paul Ramsey quite important it seems to be part of what goes on phosphogen Paul Ramsey 3 years ago I explained what Foswiki is and why it works he said fast in fast you get what you pay for everyone gets
what you pay for you get what everyone pays for now that's a beautiful summary all fast that you that you can use when you're talking to potential clients is a key word in each of the lines of have 18 authority and that's messages I think we need to work it doesn't mean you can't use it freely but it does mean that somebody has to pay for it if you got the half an hour I to find the slides afterwards follow the link I put their listening to the polls talk is 1 of the best top and as you can spend in terms of getting a way of articulating the message
across regions so how is this community that we're talking about well it's thousands of people as we've seen this event as we've seen that will and other events
it is also 39 projects 50 chapters 10 thousand people signed up to over 200 mailing lists a site in 15 languages 245 businesses registered as solution developers and providers and something like 7 thousand 200 people employed in those companies not all of whom were complicit you this is not a small community it's a big community I wanted to work out how
big this community was I wanted to get some numbers and why did I do this people are asked me why you doing this service Stephen and the reason I'm doing this survey is when you are sitting in front of a potential client a main the opposition the is a very very large proprietary software company with a billion dollars of revenue and x thousand employees being able to talk about your community and presented as a cohesive whole even though it's distributed gives you a very powerful tool the defending against the font that's fear uncertainty and doubt with that of your competitors may well try and used to win business against you so let me give you so I conducted a survey I have to qualify and say I have a moderate number of responses to the survey very I use some fairly crude stacks to scale it up to give me an estimate of the overall lowest you know economy it's very rough numbers if more organizations who are here contributed to the survey which would take 5 minutes we get more accurate numbers that I could share with everybody so there
are 120 to 150 active companies developing consulting with the last years of there are somewhere between 1200 and 1500 employees engaged in this activity they're somewhere between 150 and 200 million dollars worth of revenue associated with this activity these a quite big numbers you know this is a good solid software business we're talking about and we may be here yeah I a one-man business somebody else's attend business boundless is maybe a hundred men business the biggest yet but overall this is a pretty big organizations so those numbers are worth bearing in mind and they're useful I believe I don't know if you want to contribute to the URL is somewhat easy to remember bitterly foster G 7 and I'll put the slides are available afterward so you can go and find it it would take you to minutes to contribute to so
why is he going on about this and I just wanna write code is what you're thinking right staying here which is kind of you thank you so I that quote myself and then there was a long debate about something on a mailing list I spent far too much time on the 1st year mailing lists and it was about business and stuff like that
so as I said I believe that the long-term sustainability all phosphogen is at least in part dependent on successful businesses that employ developers consultants and support the community and its events but I go further a healthy business community based on false jury is the evidence that we developing the right products that people need to belong to use and it is how we build the community for everybody so that I'm
going to dispel and undergoes thank you to engineer who she knows I quote from this she wrote some say that the participants in false communities are in fact compensated for the laborer not with money but with social competence social capital the not compensated public money is misleading but we know now that probably 80 % of code and is committed is contributed by people who are all employed by companies to contribute part that is a great thing it doesn't mean that there isn't a place for volunteers in our community but it doesn't mean that we need to recognize where most of the code is coming from a lot of the support is coming from and we should embrace so
even though code is contributed by people who have paid for some does come from volunteers 1 and we should remember is even the
volunteers the pizza you know you don't get code sprints with volunteers coming to code sprints without providing accommodation without providing catering without providing facilities a budget for the code Prince I'll come to but it wasn't trivial the amount of money that goes to putting on the constant so bear that in mind and then
we can so support that which is the backbone of a lot of businesses in open source and people so you can get support by the name of so you can get it on exchange while I will say this an excuse me for swearing but what the fuck are you thinking about customer if you think you can post on the mailing list at 10 o'clock at nite and get support ready for the following morning because your solution is broken if this is business-critical software then it needs business-critical support if you were buying it from a proprietary vendor you would have the equivalent all the initial purchase cost over the 1st 4 years in support so there is no reason at all why people should not be paying for support and I think we have a culture which sometimes is reluctant to say you need to pay for the and it's something that we should we rely on the goodwill of volunteers to solve customers problems the
so this is a type of this talk is entitled there's no such thing as a free lunch so I thought I'd let you know how much a free lunch costs and it
costs around 700 euros a customer nice 16 is closer to 700 euros a person to run conference here in this fantastic then that before somebody says well we don't need to be in this fantastic venue you're absolutely right we don't it's very nice but we don't need to be here the goal following the venue that can support a 150 or a thousand people and you'll find that they will charge quite a lot of money it costs a lot of money to run this because you and the average delegating income all of paying delegates at this event is 595 euros you don't have to be an accountant to see if there a gap and that's fall the students come that before the busses that before the various other policies that we give to people and we wanna give more policies to more people and the way we make it work is with sponsorship sponsorship this year of G is working out of 160 euros person that's impressive thank you to the sponsors but they is understanding how this whole thing hangs together but the current frame was founded by rescue fosters the total bill for the code spring is up to 10 thousand dollars but this is not a but so
someone has to pay for for open source software for free so it's not really that's why I say there's no such thing as a free lunch so quick summary of what pays the bills and you'll
notice what pays the bills responses beaches implementation services sector now you know this and so here a few
thoughts 1st of all for individuals who use phosphogen there are 2 ways you can be an open
source system you can contribute time you can
contribute money it's as simple as that but if your organization it's a little
bit more complex and what we need is a village organizations that uses software to do in my opinion is to cross the chasm from being a user organizations to being a contributing organizations and to becoming a contributor
what do I mean by being a contributing organizations as well fundamentally quoting programs is again using is not the same as supporting and also organizations supported missiles with time and money so we're back to time and money for organizations and here is my
five-point plan take it away with pleasure use it adapted it because I think some of this is how we engage with the the user community to make them become the supporting contributing community 5 point plan 1st
point how much should you be contributed to this really important question and it when you're talking to an organization how much should they be contributing and the answer is it's up to you but what can you say things what can how much you saved by using free and open source software the very very conservative on the calculation and then maybe contribute 5 per cent of your savings 10 % of your savings any mounted any calculation that you do is based on savings and takes a tiny proportion of the savings spots that organization on a journey to becoming a contributive you can
contribute hard cash you know you can donate to project sponsored features also the foundation sponsoring events you can
contribute toning up and important point to bear in mind and for those of us who don't write code is that there is you can be a contributed to this community without writing term we need documentation we need the test do we need feedback we probably need some URI skills and research and we certainly translation so there are lots of things that you can contribute that don't involve column and these are things that all organizations that use the software may well have a really strong case within their own organization for example translating the documentation into dot actual or French if it's not available and this is a
very simple 1 a little bit of acknowledgment goes a long way and carry out and get customers to carry out an order of the software that they're using and then create a page on your website where you just give a credit to all the open source projects that you're using the link to that the project and that's a great thing to to publish an annual ordered in a just once a year do an of what software you are using estimated savings of like a brief 1 page report if companies did that we'd have case studies they make the case totally for contributing money it's a really good starting point for an organization you people 1 champion in the organization and they do this once a year you watch the change I've seen it happen and organizations of gold when they see these figures internally they said we should contribute on the final
thing and this is usually addressed to users so excuse this 1 but when you're choosing consultants if you're a user you don't want to choose the leeches wages of the people who say all we we can advise you on open source software but actually they're not putting anything back into our community you want the people who are making contributions to the community and you we need to encourage people once they decided to use free and open source software to work with the companies who are actually contributing to the community rather than just leaching I'm
almost finished now and a longtime there is a sort of the and of open source balancing between being the user being a contributor if you use fast Virginia organization you need to country you need to encourage the organization to contribute time if you're working for a faster G business you need to be trying to articulate these messages to your customers because it'll help you to grow the community to grow the income to pay the mortgage and all that so my last message to you is think about what you're going to contribute in the next year May the Force be
with you morning just just look at
that time because if you have questions it's also known as the number of whatever the values have clearly there are a few have the effect of thank you hello 1 is what this work on from Finland some question regarding the on how to manage all of the different organizations if
it if I 5 can collect let's say for example 5 organizations from Finland and we want to create a new feature to students and open source software movement but there are some bodies that or some organizations that can sort of from the project for us or for a some models that we can look at way so that we we we don't have to so that make the whole thing up by ourselves and then to the bank how to manage the money coming from a few different organizations I suggest that most projects have a steering
committee where in fact all projects have a steering committee if you start with the steering committee and very would be the people who would direct you to the 1 of what the developers to all contributing code and probably the root observe is to pick a an organization maybe that's geographically close to you or from some other reason ultimately you need to pick an organization who contributes code and say here's what we need tell yeah this to the ejected and 1 you
have to look at how much is it going to cost to you have to actually get to that organization to stay out of the feature set that you're looking for the enhancement that you're looking through for through whatever the approval processes in that project in each project is different but my 1st the 1st point call will be find Project Steering Committee 2nd 1 is to choose 1 of the contributing organizations right that's pleasure