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Open Source and the Challenge of Making Money

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OSS

Remember how the open source software movement was supposed to be like Woodstock, with everybody sharing and everything free? An entire economy where you gave a little to get a lot, in a place of love and software?

At the risk of bringing down your summer, it’s time to admit that this idea didn’t work out.

Take Big Switch Networks, a company that hoped to be for computer networking what Linux operating system software is for computer servers. A few years ago, Big Switch proposed building networking controller software that was crowd-created and free, which could demolish proprietary networking boxes. It would also offer a commercial version, with a few tweaks, that could be the basis of a great, profitable empire.

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