What if SaaS were the natural way out for open source software?

Ten days ago, at a luncheon of illustrious geeks convened by the Gran Didac Lee. Hector Perez commented that WordPress had released a service The first one was a paid service, which consisted of hosting and blog maintenance packages. Hector, as we all do, assumed that his fifteen table mates knew the news; in my case I assure you that we did not. Perhaps out of geek pride, perhaps so as not to deviate from the subject of the meeting, I didn't ask him for more information.

WordPress is an open source program that has become the standard for self-hosted blogs. It belongs to Automatic, a software development company, and has a large community of developers who have created thousands of mockups and thousands of extensions, to change the aesthetics of the blog and add functionality, respectively. This blog, and the other six I have set up are made with WordPress.

I decided to set up my first blog to inform my family and friends about my things, I quickly realized that I had to install it on my own server if I wanted to have control over it. I considered three options: MovableType, Drupal y WordPress. I decided on the latter for two reasons: they said it was the easiest to install, and some major blogs were switching from MovableType to WordPress.

But let's go back to the beginning, the good Hector, commented that the premium or VIP version, in this case, would have bugs fixed, because, being in the hands of the developer, it would be more advanced. I find this argument interesting, but even more interesting is the ease of installation that I was looking for in a blogging software. And, in the case of more conservative users, the technical service that can offer you the house itself.

In short, you launch an open source software to the market, you only have expenses and no income, and then you start to have a liquid line, the installation consultancy, the custom developments and the maintenance. Most of the business models based on open source software stop there; and investors don't like that, because the model is not scalable; I mean, you can't multiply the business a hundredfold from one day to the next, because you are based on manpower, on man-hours, and even if it can be profitable, it is not enough for a business angel.

But here comes Automatic (among others) and gives it a second twist, makes packages with its more refined software, adds hosting and a technical service. The latter is already offered by any hosting provider, in a better or worse way. In short, it goes from a non-scalable business model to a scalable one. And all using the magic of software as a service (SaaS), in this case it is a low intensity SaaS, but we can make it grow to infinity.

Perhaps programming in open source, besides being good and beautiful for everyone, is profitable for those who do it.


Comments

2 responses to "What if SaaS were the natural way out for open source software?”

  1. Hector Perez Avatar
    Hector Perez

    Hi Javier,

    I was going to answer here but I got caught up and made a post in the end:

    Best regards and see you next time!

    Hector

  2. [...] Posted in other posts in ArpaHector.com, Uncategorized by Héctor on May 5, 2010 I just saw Javier Cuervo's post after the lunch with Didac Lee and I was going to comment but I'd better do it here and take the opportunity to [...]

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