Money versus time in Open Source

I think Sun/MySQL's Marten Mickos nailed it when he said "There's a difference between organizations that have more time than money and organizations that have more money than time". Read Savio Rodrigues' post on InfoWorld and Matt Asay's post on CNET for more background.

Companies or individuals that have more time than money, don't mind asking support questions on the drupal.org forum, debugging problems or implementing missing functionality. Often, they thoroughly enjoy themselves participating in the community. This is exactly what the Drupal community is good at: collaboration and innovation. As a community, we should continue to invest in tools and documentation, and we should make Drupal faster, easier and better.

Companies that have more money than time, hire a consultant, get a support contract, and pay for a subscription to electronic services that helps them manage their Open Source software stack. They often don't want to collaborate or drive innovation. They want someone to cultivate the Open Source wilderness and to remove the product's pain points. This is exactly the business that Acquia is in. Acquia will build the Drupal-tuned analogue of the RedHat Network, over which we can deliver a wide variety of electronic services intended to be useful to people developing and operating Drupal websites.

Money versus time. It is a no-brainer. Marten nailed it.

Comments

Cute Anikaa (not verified):

Excellent point !

I think the time-frame for an open-source project like Drupal is pretty clear. You get one year for development and the same amount before you have to upgrade.

The financial part of the project is more difficult as it seems. Sure there are invaluable assets in the community and the great people who live on developing Drupal, but I also think that there should be a major sponsor or some sort of financial group of angels that support the infrastructure of an open-source project.

May 6, 2008
Dieter_be (not verified):

Subtle difference between 'can' and 'want': some companies would like to contribute back/participate in the community but simply have no time to do it.

This is even more so because experienced people are so hard to find. (even if you have the money to hire them). So this is your 2nd category, only 'want' replaced by 'can' ;-).

May 6, 2008

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