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Community = Market
Category: Libervis .blogs :
Author: Libervisco (8:49 pm)
This story asks a question: Is open source a bubble ready to burst?
It concludes in a rather positive light and I would agree that open source, that is Free Software investments aren't forming a "bubble ready to burst".
What article mentions as one of the most crucial things a Free Software business startup has to have is *community*. But it sounds like it's being put out as a requirement not existant in the proprietary business world, which is in my opinion actually a pretty silly presumption.
Even proprietary software businesses need sort of a community to form around their software; community of users, even if those are merely paying customers. It is their market. The only difference is that a proprietary software users community isn't and can't be so active as Free Software users community can be. Proprietary software users can't send in their own software code modifications and are usually much slower at submitting bug reports and any such feedback. It is a "we and them" approach where "we" is the software company and them are just "consumers". The "we" feeds "them" and there is generally no mingleing and no real cooperation between the two.
So, what the "community" is to a Free Software business is still actually a "market" that has to be won just as they'd need to win if they were a proprietary software company, only this "market" (the community) is more proactive, it wants and needs to have a say, it wonts to cooperate and it wants to have certain freedoms granted.
This kind of market, the market which we can call a community, not just "consumers" is what the market should have been in the first place. The "we and them" situation is corrupt as it assumes people should merely be consumers. Free Software business model changes that as it gives a face, voice and a tool to the people, the community, the Free Software market.
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