There can be a fine line between an open source project and a product. Let’s pick on some new company that has fungible open source code anyone could have productized. The product is an employee directory. It’s a simple app. Any full stack developer could look at that and build it in two weeks.
Let’s imagine an alternate scenario in which that didn’t become a company but was monetized in a different way. Perhaps it could have simply been a set of components to be purchased or subscribed to, much like what has happened with front end design and other digital assets.
Most startups die, often for all kinds of reasons outside of the technology, but the work they did could be useful outside of their organization. Perhaps not all useful tools should be companies, but then again they should also not all be open source.
The incentives and disincentives for open source are well known. The open source movement was once a “disease” that then produced code that now runs most of the world’s data centers. This is amazing. It has most recently one of the largest acquisitions ever. For all the good it’s done, it can be a difficult way to make money.
We think there is a business model in between. One that allows people and teams to make a living selling software, while also providing a ton of value to the end customers.
Today I want to announce the launch of a container marketplace. A place where developers can upload containers and other developers can purchase them.
Out of the gate, we will support 4 business models:
- Access — Simply pay to access the container forever
- Subscription — A monthly fee to access the container and future updates.
- Upfront fee + Support — A feed to access the container paid once and a support model allowing for developers to help the customer integrate or otherwise use the system.
- JSON Web Token (JWT)— Though this one is the most complex, it is also one of the most powerful. A customer purchases a JWT token with an expiration date. For example, they can purchase a token good for a year. The container will authenticate the JWT token and ensure it is both valid and has not expired before it runs.
Here are a few of the concepts that fit cleanly into a container marketplace
- Machine learning
- Containers that do one thing
- Rules engine
- Ops Tools
- Auth system
- RBAC system
- Blockchain Node
Interested in joining as a maker? We’d love to have you!