Bob Sutor On Advice For Open Source Startups

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 02, 2009

IBM's Bob Sutor has a good post up discussing advice for those who want to start an open source business. There are more and more open source startups arriving, but Sutor says "I’ve been very surprised as I’ve looked around the web that there don’t seem to be very many good guides about the nuts and bolts of starting an open source business." He lists seven pieces of advice for those who have an open source business in the works, and here are some of our posts that can help you follow the advice.

Sutor discusses the following tenets for startup open source entrepeneurs:

Don’t quit your day job, yet.

Remember that an open source business is a business.

Learn about copyrights and open source licenses.

Come up with a good answer regarding why you are basing your business on open source.

Think about community first and foremost.

Understand your exit plan.

Find an existing open source business that does something similar to what you want to do and learn as much about it as you can.

I agree with a number of these points. In particular, thinking about community first and foremost is essential. The Apache Software Foundation is an example of how to do this right, and Drupal and Mozilla come to mind when I think about community done right too.

You can brush up on issues related to copyrights and licenses here. We also provided eight resources for open source project leaders here. In that post, you can review the importance of open standards, legal issues pertaining to open source, and more.