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9. Giving It Away: How Red Hat Software ... > 9.2. How Do You Make Money in Free S...

How Do You Make Money in Free Software?

That question assumes that it is easy, or at least easier, to make money selling proprietary binary-only software.

This is a mistake. Most software ventures, whether based on free or proprietary software, fail. Given that until very recently all software ventures were of the proprietary binary-only kind, it is therefore safe to say that the IP (Intellectual Property) model of software development and marketing is a very difficult way to make a living. Of course so was panning for gold during the gold rushes of the 19th century. But when software companies strike it rich they generate a lot of money, just like past gold rushes, so lots of people are willing to assume the risks in order to have an opportunity to “strike gold.”


  

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