Open-source business as pie

There are many ways to view open-source business models, but the tastiest is through pie analogies.

Matt's pecan pie

I made a raspberry rhubarb pie last night. I will be bearing the weight of that fatty bit of heaven for months to come in the form of belly fat. But it was worth it.

To celebrate pie, I figured I'd mash it up with open source. I'm a big fan of both, and figured that most open-source business models can be expressed through pie. Here's my humble effort:

  1. Pie + - Here's filling (plus the recipe!) for free, but if you want the crust, you have to pay for that (though we will let you view the recipe which, btw, includes 1 ts vanilla, 1 egg yolk, 1/2 - 2/3 c cold water, 2 sticks of unsalted butter, 3 cups of unbleached flour, 3 tb baker's sugar, and 1/2 ts salt for my Sweet Vanilla Crust).

  2. Certified pie - We give you the recipe, but if you want us to build it for you and certify and indemnify that it's free of flies, cherry pits, arsenic, etc., you pay. I come to your house and build it in your kitchen.

  3. Mixed pie - We give you the pie, because we're actually in the business of selling the salad and entree. I bake the pie in your home, but deliver the rest.

  4. Hosted pie - No need to heat your oven or dirty your dishes. Come by my pie restaurant and eat. Don't worry about the recipe - I got all of the goods from open recipes and made the food with open ingredients, but you just focus on eating.

  5. Advertising pie - I don't actually sell pie or even its recipes - I just advertise pie and get paid for that.

So much pie, so little time. Here's a less tasty way of looking at it:

Open source business models Matt Asay

I wonder how we'll be eating our open-source pie next, as I can see a clear evolution in the way the business models have been changing.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


    Discuss Open-source business as pie

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Articles from CNET
    I, robot, take this other robot to be my wedded wife