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Culture

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.