[Consortium] strange n00b post or: how I learned to embrace open source and stop making money

Bryant Hansen linuxaudio at bryanthansen.net
Sun Aug 23 13:52:31 EDT 2009

Greeting All,

This is my first posting, and I haven't been following the group very
long.  I actually discovered it during some research I was doing in
order to promote Linux adoption to a major producer of professional
audio equipment.  This post is about how I might do this most
effectively.  It could get a bit long, and I'm not 100% certain that
Linuxaudio.org is the right place for it; it might be more business than
a .org site can stomach.  If this doesn't sound interesting, read no
further, and try to show some mercy in your flames.

So, I've recently been in contact with the founder & chairman of a major
audio equipment company.  This company makes high-end
keyboard/synthesizer/mix/record/playback equipment that's used in
studios and concerts by many big names in the industry.

Their devices currently run Windows, and I have an opportunity to pitch
the adoption of Linux to them.  I got a nice introduction from a key
member of the AES, and then I wrote a 3-page report on the
opportunities, challenges, and strategies of Linux adoption.  This was
well-received and now I've been invited for a phone conference next week.

My report was an attempt to create an informative and
as-unbiased-as-possible analysis of:
 - the advantages & disadvantages of Linux adoption
 - a strategy for the most effective way to get there
 - a list of resources and references, of which linuxaudio.org is key

I might be willing to make the report available if anyone is interested,
but I have to remove any references to the company I'm working with.  I
don't want to undermine their confidence, especially when I'm trying
calm their nerves about stepping out of the world of proprietary
software into that of free/open/libra, and realize their competitive
advantages in other ways.


My key priority is to promote Linux for audio equipment and to sew the
seeds of a strong, professional relationship with some key players in
the audio electronics industry.  However, I'm also an independent
contractor, and if I can generate some paying work out of this, I will. 
I expect that they'll need a few paid part-timers to grease the wheels;
do an initial port, setup & seed the forums, wikis, bug trackers, etc.,
and deal with any other important issues that volunteers don't step up to.

We're slowly getting to the point of my post.  I have some open
questions for the group:

  - is there really a business case Linux adoption?  ...or should this
be viewed as a domain for hobbyists?

  - are there any ways or indicators of determining the size of the
market they might reach if they adopt Linux?

  - any tips or suggestions about working with the community?

Feel free to respond either on- or off-list.  linuxaudio(at)bryanthansen.net

Bryant Hansen
Embedded Systems Engineer

Bryant is an engineer with nearly a decade of experience working in the
audio industry (at BridgeCo and Digital Harmony/Pavo).  His most recent
professional experience is with embedded audio devices running Linux. 
He holds a certification from the Linux Professional Institute and has
memberships with the IEEE and the Free Software Foundation.

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