OBM(open business model) & itsfoss

Hello possible friends! Great lovers of the open source world!

I have an idea to create an open source organization that validates, manages and maintains an open source business model, in order to avoid any misunderstanding of customers and users in the open source world. Lately, I’ve been thinking about creating this organization on GitHub which is a very popular platform where people host code.

My initial doubt is whether this idea is good or bad! I’ve been following this forum for exactly 3 years and the community is interesting, I wonder if we can create an open source business model movement. My idea is not to say what can or cannot be done, but to elaborate a support plan where programmers share business ideas, commercial plans to facilitate new technologies.

A big problem with open source is dividing user, developer, client, team and financial resources. I mean, most of those who like open source can be a possible user, client, member of the development team, independent developer or even someone who finances the project. Not all open source projects have a clear development model, some opt for donation, or bug-bounty etc to keep the software up and running.

Anyway, what I write here is a general idea of ​​an open business model. I call this OBM, which would define the open source business model for the community. I study a lot the issue of analyzing business models and I would like to create a community with the vision of consulting open source business models, whether existing or still under construction.

This allows any community to focus on more usability, user experience and quality and financial resources. Here is a list of previous ideas on how to make money with open source through the OBM community.

  1. Selling Technical Documents: If you are someone technical in programming and want to see how the software is made, there could be a charge for technical documents.
  2. Software with the subscription model: You can charge for the software with the monthly, yearly or according to a time period or user model (premium, business)
  3. You can try selling t-shirts, buttons and other stickers to help the open source community.
  4. You may have the try to sell your software through extensive, paid add-ons. Where the user pays for the additional functionality of the software.
  5. As a developer, if you can pay to develop some additional resource or correction of errors.
  6. You can sell training, certificates to guarantee or knowledge or experience of using your software.
  7. You can put your software on a donation model, where anyone can donate money for your software to be maintained.
  8. You may charge for some customization or personalization of your software at the company or per user.

These are some ways to earn money with software. I would like to verify the positive and negative points of each of the OBM ideas.

Hi @comimo8358 ,
Nothing wrong with airing your ideas here, but can we please be careful as discussion proceeds to keep it free of advertising or other spam.



@nevj Should we flag it?

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@shamu @nevj Hi!

In this post I wrote I’m asking if it’s a good idea to create an organization that takes care of the consulting part of open technology solutions.

I’m not divulging anything, it’s just a question.

Hi Shamu,
No, Its OK at the moment. I am just worried that it is the sort of topic that leads to problems on the forum. So I warned the originator (I hope politely) that he should be careful

I think it is a good idea.
I think it needs some more research into existing open technology solutions. For example in Linux we have a number of major organisations… RHEL, Debian Ubuntu, OpenSUSE, GNU, and the kernel group. They all operate differently. Can anyone summarize the various ways in which they operate?

The other thing I would like to note is that the acceptability of various paid solutions depends on the user. The business world is usually willing and able to pay. The academic world is usually too poor to pay, so tends to put up with less than perfect free software. Home users are a very mixed group.

I dont see how the Github venue matches up with selling things. I thought Github was an Open Source establishment

Most of the early Open Source was written by what you might call ‘honorary programmers’ (like honorary surgeons) doing it for whatever reason and not expecting financial return. That has changed slightly, but a lot of people still feel they should put something back into a system that has served them well

I dont think it would be appropriate for itsFOSS to become involved, but you would have to ask the managers about that


Hi nevj, what do you think about this idea?

OBM “Open business model”

1. goal

create, plan, develop, maintain and manage an OBM community to share ideas to earn open source money with GitHub discussions or here on It’s-foss if possible

1.1 example of this goal

As we can see in this text, there are some previous ideas of funding for open source projects. The idea would be that anyone, developer and user could share other ideas for funding for open source projects. In this way, we can establish a portfolio or a guide of what might be more or less interesting for certain open source products/services.

2. proposal or “values”

I think it needs some more research into existing open technology solutions.

“OBM can or should conduct scientific research on open source technologies for this.”

The other thing I would like to note is that the acceptability of various paid solutions depends on the user.

“OBM can or should conduct user experience research on open source technologies for this too.”

The business world is usually willing and able to pay.

“OBM can or should analyze the market with open source technologies to establish or guide a viable, stipulated value/price for open source technologies. In this way, it can or should produce a critical analysis of the market. Just as it can or should analyze the target audience for critical market analysis. As well, can or should make an initial analysis if there is a possibility of defining some value/price.”

The academic world is usually too poor to pay, so tends to put up with less than perfect free software.

“OBM can or should define open source timelines, goals and/or scenarios for users, companies, governments, social organizations etc to verify its suitability in any environment.”

My idea would be an open source community looking to help various open source communities with scientific research, user experience research etc. This generates a need for curating open source projects, consulting open source projects, etc.

So you want to form a community… OK I get it now.

  • Github would be a bit awkward… it coordinates people doing things, especially programming. I have no experience of a large multi-collaborator Github repo. I do have a Github site with lots of articles, and that would fit some of your needs.
  • A forum site like itsFOSS would bring people together but I fear it would be impotent when it comes to doing anything. Also the F in FOSS does not seem to feature in your thinking. Maybe a separate subcategory in itsFOSS would work, because what you would need most is lots of articles.
  • An independent website would probably be best. You are talking about providing a library of resources… a bit like writing a book.

There is nothing wrong with your idea. If you had all the answers you would write a book, but you are talking about the process of researching the idea. How are you going to collect some content? If you want to solicit articles from people, then maybe Github.

I hope I did not turn you off with my initial warning. We just haveto be careful


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My idea would be to write the articles in markdown and sync them with a git repository on GitHub or use the GitHub Discussions feature. I’m thinking of writing the specs in RFC style.

Thanks for all the comments it’s helping me a lot. If you can help me again, I would like if possible to know your opinion on these questions:

  • What do you think about this idea of writing articles in markdown and syncing them to a git repository? or use the GitHub Discussions feature for this? (It’s a good idea or no?)
  • Is it a good idea to use the markdown file format to specify these things? (It’s a good idea or no?)

I can only say the I write articles in Latex under git in my local machine, and push them to a Github repository. That gives me a backup and a place where other people can access them .

I use Latex because I used to write scientific articles with maths in them. I have no objection to Markdown, but the only place I have used it is to write simple README.md files for Github repos. If Markdown has all the features you need, then use it.

You can look at my Github repos

Try the Unix repo. An example of a short document would be
in the Unix repo.
I put that doc there so people could access it from itsFOSS. There is nowhere on itsFOSS to store documents.

I would not use Github directly for writing. Do it locally where you have all the tools.

It is now clear to me that you intend to do most of the writing yourself, at least initially. That is a lot simpler. Large collaborative writing efforts are difficult to manage.

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Hi all. someone… can… close this topic?

all questions have been answered.

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