A lot has been written for and against open core now. Yet in the end, a couple tweets can catch all that is needed:
This is that blog post.
Inspired by Stephen, I also looked into a set of slides I recently created and will try that style for this post...
Aslett and Stephen make a great point:
the conversion of community users into paying customers has long been a concern for open source-related vendors. It has also long been a source of friction, with vendors that offer proprietary extensions being accused of “bait and switch” or otherwise undermining the value of the open source software in an attempt compel community users into becoming paying customers. In recent years the next generation of start-ups has learned that the best way to encourage a frictionless relationship between a vendor and its community is not to attempt to “convert” users at all.
Oh my. I was outside painting my house for a few days, and when I return back online I discover that now everyone is having an opinion on the open core business model. Since some participants are still trying to promote it as a valid open source business model, let's see what everyone is saying and highlight any pitfalls being offered...
Geert made us aware that MySQL Cluster now provides the possibility to disable arbitration in order to use an external arbitration mechanism. This is a really important feature, because... well, not really, but only because I was the one who designed it :-)
Coming up with the concept and the two parameters Arbitration=WaitExternal and ArbitrationTimeout=n took a few weeks of discussion. Once we agreed on how to do it, I think
JonasMagnus coded it in 20 minutes on the mezzanine floor of the Hyatt, Santa Clara. After that MySQL conference I soon resigned from Sun, so I had now idea what then happened to this feature.
In celebration of Midsummer today, I wanted to post the below monologue on likelihoods (of nuclear powerplant catastrophies), which is a translation of a famous Swedish monologue by Tage Danielsson.
When we at MySQL had joined Sun, one task for me and my Sales Engineer collagues was to travel to Sun offices and educated the huge Sun sales force about MySQL, so they could sell it too. (Basically to tell them about open source, scale-out, reference customers, and most importantly: Don't sell Cluster on your own, call me first.) Being a Telecom Sales Engineer, I was sent to tour the Ericsson account team meeting, the Nokia account team meeting, and for logistical reasons even the Siemens account team meeting that was at the same location as the Nokia team.
Each meeting had nicer and nicer dinners, but the Ericsson account team meeting in Stockholm was clearly the winner. The dinner was set in the City Hall restaurant (Stadshuskällaren), which is also were they serve the Nobel gala dinners. Our menu was a copy of the 1981 Nobel menu, served on the authentic Nobel porcelain.
Julie Bort of Networkworld.com has an interview with Mårten Mickos of Eucalyptus, formerly of MySQL. In MySQL times it seemed (to me at least) that most users never realized Mårten and his management team were taking MySQL increasingly into a closed source direction. (Maybe I'm just stupid myself, but at least personally I had not noticed this until after I started working for the company.) In this interview Mårten at least comes squarely out of the closet and is defending the model.
Julie makes a good journalistic effort of reporting on the topic from a neutral point of view. Alas, sometimes that approach just makes things fuzzier. So let me try to make one thing clear: Open core may be a good business model, but open core is not open source!
Below is my talk from the International Federation of Computer Law Associations conference banquet that took place in Helsinki last week. (It is post-edited to match what was actually said.)
I have to say I was quite honored to be asked to speak. I was preceded by Finlands Minister of Justice Tuija Brax and later in the evening followed by imho Finlands funniest magician Martti Vannas. The dinner was set in the old stock market building of Helsinki, an exquisite restaurant now. I'm happy to say the talk was well received and many of the lawyers came to thank me afterwards.
Last Saturday I became father to a baby girl - in addition to our 2½year old son.
Those of you who are my former collagues from MySQL, you know about the generous Scandinavian 5 week vacations. (Which in MySQL were practiced globally.) I have decided that now is a good time for me to enjoy another Scandinavian perk: long paternity leave. I will be home with the rest of the family until approximately next February :-)