Skip to content
Welcome guest. | Register | Login | Add
About | Wiki | Legacy

A Non-traditional Open and Cooperative Business Proposition

94 replies [Last post]
memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12

For those who missed it our long time friend Jose Monserrat Neto has made a quite significant invintation on our wiki. It is about developing a cooperative and for-profit business organization starting with us from Libervis.com and raised some needs and possibilities which we should start investigating and discussing as part of the initiation of this project.

You can share your thoughts on that in this thread. I think that it is quite a good idea, although ambitious. If we can resolve some of the major legal hurdles concerning establishing an international (multinational infact) co-operative, I think this could be a serious thing and a potential way to help define the organizational and legal shape and form in which Libervis Network could exist.

Let's discuss it.

EDIT: If you are joining the project in any role please sign yourself at the bottom of this wiki page.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
It's a very interesting

It's a very interesting idea. I'm very supportive of the co-oprative idea.

I'll read more into the links etc. given on the wiki, then I'll comment more.

dylunio

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
For now, I am in this

For now, I am in this project only in an advisor role. (In other words, if it's not going to use my specialisms but will simply be a programming job, I want out! Also, I'm very busy with my studies!)

Before we can have a serious business plan, we need a product (which could also be a service). This product should be something we think the world needs, and that thought should be based on observations, not idealism.

1 Think of something people would "buy" (buy/rent/view with ads/whatever).
2 Think of a way to "sell" it to them.

We also need to consider our advantages and disadvantages. The most obvious is that we are few and spread across the globe. So for example opening a shop that sells computers with free software preinstalled is out of the question! But there could be an advantage to being awake at different times: customers could contact us immediately 24/7. And of course we speak many languages.

So let's brainstorm about products. What do we have already?

I have my secret "Durian" project, which is very much unfinished, and couldn't possibly make enough money by itself to feed me, never mind all of us. However it will be very useful for a business that creates, translates and illustrates free (that is libre) articles in a loose team (no need for continuous contact between team members).

Danijel has the libervis network, which contains a superb free software discussion site: nuxified.org.

So here is one proposal: Let's write/obtain practical articles about free software and find a smart way to attach the discussed software to the articles. This is based on an observation of my own behavior: I read such articles, but usually don't want to take the effort of installing the software and uninstalling it again a few hours later. And of course I almost never install software that isn't in my linux distribution, for security...

Practical implementation: a customized qemu with a customized gnu/linux running on top of it, which tries to read a virtual cdrom mounted on /opt . The cdrom images would contain only the discussed software (so you don't have to download gnu/linux again and again). Permanently installing an image outside the emulator is easy: simply copy its contents to your real /opt directory.

A useful thing to link to this would be a terminal/documentreader combination that makes it easy to copy examples from articles to the command line.

How to make money: sell article/cdrom image combinations to magazines so they can publish them a month before they are released on the net?

What are your ideas?

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
tbuitenh wrote: For now, I
tbuitenh wrote:

For now, I am in this project only in an advisor role. (In other words, if it's not going to use my specialisms but will simply be a programming job, I want out! Also, I'm very busy with my studies!)

That's great. You're a great advisor and I'm always curious about your input.

Quote:

Before we can have a serious business plan, we need a product (which could also be a service). This product should be something we think the world needs, and that thought should be based on observations, not idealism.

I agree that observations should be the way to recognize needs, but a bit of idealism is what would make this cooperative special. I am all for being pragmatic, as long as it doesn't go against the higher priority which is an ethical ideal.

I started Libervis Network for both idealism and at some point money. Both working at the same time is perfect. Eye

Quote:

So here is one proposal: Let's write/obtain practical articles about free software and find a smart way to attach the discussed software to the articles.

A very interesting idea...

Quote:

Practical implementation: a customized qemu with a customized gnu/linux running on top of it, which tries to read a virtual cdrom mounted on /opt . The cdrom images would contain only the discussed software (so you don't have to download gnu/linux again and again). Permanently installing an image outside the emulator is easy: simply copy its contents to your real /opt directory.

So basically users would only have to download an image and run it, right? It seems that this would work only on GNU/Linux though, except if the image format would be standard in a way that allows it to run on any emulator. Another thing is many people don't know what qemu or even vmware is. If they have that as a requirement then it might not be so easy for them. It's best if they could just download everything self contained and running within their system even though it's actually not installed, kind of like a livecd, but running on top of an existing system and without need to reboot.

Quote:

How to make money: sell article/cdrom image combinations to magazines so they can publish them a month before they are released on the net?

That could be a way if we find enough interested magazines willing to pay for such a benefit. I think that wouldn't even need to have a restrictive license on the article as we'd simply keep it private until someone, in this case a magazine, pays to get it first. After they do we simply wait with the online release. Not a bad idea, but there may be other innovative ways to capitalize on these articles... Advertising is one. Every article could have a sponsor that in some way relates to the topic of the article. Their ad could be embeded in an article in a not to obstructive way..

Anyway, this is a great start Taco. I'll have to think a bit more to come up with other ideas or something based on this one..

Thanks

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
I have to note that

I have to note that Monserrat already proposed one business idea:

Quote:

José Monserrat Neto proposes the idea of lauching an online business, that of selling services of constructing and maintaining interactive sites, with free software.

That would pretty much be a web design and development business, but possibly with a twist. This is one area in which our current skills would actually apply. I may not be a good web programmer, but I know a bit about good web design. Others here may know the programming part.

Just something to consider too.

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
I've now read a bit more on

I've now read a bit more on the subject and have had time to think of somethings.

Firstly to let you know, I'm in full time education which will have to come before this venture, but I'm willing to help out in anyway I can.

As has been mentioned, we need something to sell - without something to sell there is no reason people will give the venture money!
Some ideas I've had:

Consultants - This is where we offer advice to people who want it on how to switch to Free Software in their organaziation. [Who will want this?].

Modifying services - This is basically what rms did during the 1980s, we modify programs and websites for our customers and release the modifications to the public. [Do we have enough people with enough idea on how to program etc. to get this to work?]

Product creation and linked services - This is where we make a product, have it available both gratis and pay-for, with the inclusion of support in the pay-for version (product will be libre of course). Also run the above idea but only on the product.

These are not very origional ideas, but I'd like to here more.

Regarding tbuitenh's idea of selling article/software packages - it seems very interesting, I'm not too sure if there will be enough call for this, but it could be run as a pilot or to gain any initial capital needed for the venture.

dylunio

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
dylunio wrote: As has been
dylunio wrote:

As has been mentioned, we need something to sell - without something to sell there is no reason people will give the venture money!

Are you thinking of venture capital? Smiling If we'd have a really really unique and impressive enough idea that too might be a possibility, but it's hard to get VC's money and even if you do they want to have a good share of control over the business.

dylunio wrote:

Consultants - This is where we offer advice to people who want it on how to switch to Free Software in their organaziation. [Who will want this?].

I've thought of that too, to use experiences we have and polish/professionalize ourselves a bit and simply offer advice and guidance for switching to Free Software. I think there is still a good deal of opportunity here because Free Software adoption keeps growing while the choice of Free Software for some uses is great. Helping people choose the right thing for them is what we could do.

Quote:

Modifying services - This is basically what rms did during the 1980s, we modify programs and websites for our customers and release the modifications to the public. [Do we have enough people with enough idea on how to program etc. to get this to work?]

We'd need a few good programmers for that to work. I can merely modify website designs (CSS, HTML etc.) but if we could find good programmers to join is then sure this could potentially be something viable as well. Maybe we could then specialize on certain kinds of software we customize for people..

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
As has been mentioned,
libervisco wrote:
dylunio wrote:

As has been mentioned, we need something to sell - without something to sell there is no reason people will give the venture money!

Are you thinking of venture capital? Smiling If we'd have a really really unique and impressive enough idea that too might be a possibility, but it's hard to get VC's money and even if you do they want to have a good share of control over the business.

Erm, no I wasn't realy thinking of VC - I was thinking that people will give us money in exchange for $PRODUCT and noone would give us money in exchange for nothing...

But if we get a super-duper idea, we could see about VC...

dylunio

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 10 weeks 4 days ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Yeah I thought it was that,

Yeah I thought it was that, but I had to mention VCs.. Smiling

__________________

Daniel Memenode signature

User offline. Last seen 11 years 31 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
VC: no thanks. We don't want

VC: no thanks. We don't want to be corrupted from the start, now do we?

qemu runs on 'nix, windows and MacOS. What I would do is write a tiny program that gets attached to an unused file extension, say .lai (libervis article image), so when a user has this tiny program installed and clicks on a link to such a file on the net, it gets launched. The .lai file actually is an iso.
Now all the tiny program should do is execute a command similar to

qemu baseimage.img -dontmodify -boot d -cdrom thefile.lai

(I forgot what the option for not modifying the base image is Sticking out tongue )

qemu boots a simple linux from baseimage.img, both got installed with our supereasy installer. The emulated linux then looks for a "cdrom", which would be the .lai file. The .lai file contains the software the article is about... voila: instant access to the software the article is about.
What's even better is that you can easily permanently install it (on linux) by extracting the iso/lai .

Anyway, what we should be looking for is innovative combinations of text, software and images. Being another web design or services company just isn't good enough, we need to have an unique product. Otherwise customers will prefer the cheaper, more experienced competition.

By saying the product idea shouldn't be based on idealism I mean we should not say something like "we love rabbits! rabbits are cute! people need more rabbits! so we will let them rent ours!".

dylunio's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 years 30 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2005-05-08
tbuitenh wrote: VC: no
"tbuitenh" wrote:

VC: no thanks. We don't want to be corrupted from the start, now do we?

True, I don't think that VC works with a Co-op model anyway.

"tbuitenh" wrote:

Anyway, what we should be looking for is innovative combinations of text, software and images. Being another web design or services company just isn't good enough, we need to have an unique product. Otherwise customers will prefer the cheaper, more experienced competition.

Indeed one needs to be inovative and new. The older models have the surer 'business-plan', but the market may be saturated already; thus creating a new market gives us more options (though we should never act like IBM when they invented the PC).

I must read up more on qemu.

dylunio

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.