[CentOS] Corporate support for CentOS

Tue Mar 29 03:36:28 UTC 2011
Brian Mathis <brian.mathis+centos at betteradmin.com>

On Mon, Mar 28, 2011 at 7:47 PM, David Brian Chait <dchait at invenda.com> wrote:
>>Anyone know someone who can front at least 2 years working capital to get
>>started and productive?
> >From a pure business standpoint, it would be near impossible to pull off. No one is going to pony up $2,000,000 to start CentOS up as a for-profit company. Aside from the small point that you would be competing with RedHat using its own product, think about it in simple financial terms...let's say we charged each licensee $200/year /machine (and yes at that price we would be competing with RH directly). We would have to sell 5,000 licenses a year just to break even. Bring the price point down to take into account the fact that most users of CentOS can't afford $200/month (or they would probably be using RHEL now..), and your number of conversions goes up exponentially to make up for the low sticker price. Aside from that inconvenient truth, also consider that CentOS does not produce unique products that are protected in any way/shape/form, there is no way to protect the investment or the business from disappearing overnight.

You're just not getting it.  The economics of most OSS projects have
absolutely nothing to do with "fronting capital", forming a company to
sell licenses, or scraping together enough donations to hire someone
to quit their day job to work on the project.  This has happened maybe
once or twice in history.  I'm talking about existing OSS projects,
not something that was always intended to use the freemium model.

When one says "corporate sponsorship", they are talking about a
company with employees able to devote some of their paid time to
working on the project.  Almost always this paid development also
benefits the company, but they also release the work to the project.
This is the exact structure that companies like Redhat, IBM, Oracle,
Google, Novell, etc... use for their "corporate sponsorship" of Linux.
 The .info registrar supports PostgreSQL this way.

Discussion of any other type of structure, especially when related to
CentOS, is just absurd.  Anyone looking to pay someone is going to buy
RHEL.  Ideally, the big companies using CentOS should be devoting some
employee time to CentOS builds, QA, etc...  This is the only viable
option for a project like CentOS, and is exactly the type of structure
Johnny was talking about in an earlier post.