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

Ivica Ico Bukvic ico at vt.edu
Sun Aug 23 21:25:54 EDT 2009

Hello Bryant!

This is indeed a great and noble effort, the one we at LAO should support
whichever way we can. I think it would be great to read your report (should
such prove to be feasible) as that way we could provide additional insight.
Regarding your questions, here are my thoughts:

> 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?

I think the fact that there are a number of Linux-based businesses some of
which are clearly thriving (even though most of them are outside the audio
domain) should speak strongly enough that there is clearly a business model
one can pursue through Linux. I also think, however, that the business model
in question is clearly different from the traditional ones that are based on
proprietary source. When thinking about doing business within the audio
domain one has to also consider the size of the market. In this case, audio
market is truly a niche when compared to server and other similar software

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

I think this should not be the main agenda when adopting Linux, particularly
in an embedded environment (which this appears to be the case). The end-user
does not (and for the most part should not) care what is under the hood, so
to say. What is under the hood matters only to the extent that it works. And
if it works better and/or offers potential near or (as is IMHO the case with
Linux) long-term cost savings over the existing model that is ultimately all
should matter to businesses. That said, ironically this will also lead to
potentially larger market as the end-product may achieve lower cost and/or
greater features, something that is demanded by the consumers.

>   - any tips or suggestions about working with the community?

The first and foremost tip is honoring the code license and maintaining
strong communication with the community. Business ventures often have
opportunity to capitalize on additional brain power and as such can quickly
develop potent software solutions. This, however, when done without any
input from the community may end-up easily a wasted dead-end effort that
will ultimately die with the product it has been designed for. On the flip
side, should you decide to work with community, it is not unlikely that the
community may provide you with better solutions through their communally
wisdom than what your paid team could ever come up with.

Hope this helps!

As I mentioned we at LAO would definitely like to help any way we can, and
should this project take off, I certainly hope that you will consider also
becoming an active member of the LAO community.


Ivica Ico Bukvic, D.M.A.
Director, Linuxaudio.org
Virginia Tech
Dept. of Music - 0240
Blacksburg, VA 24061
(540) 231-6139
(540) 231-5034 (fax)
ico at linuxaudio.org

> Feel free to respond either on- or off-list.
> Bryant Hansen
> Embedded Systems Engineer

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