[OpenAFS] the future

Russ Allbery rra@stanford.edu
Mon, 01 Oct 2012 21:41:52 -0700

Jeffrey Altman <jaltman@your-file-system.com> writes:
> On 10/2/2012 12:12 AM, Troy Benjegerdes wrote:

>> Have you thought about what you can offer to SMB (small-medium
>> businesses)

>> For instance, you charge $3.99 for the iYFS iDevice app.

>> What could you offer for $20/month? Would you let a third party resell
>> iYFS to the SMB market, as long as you are getting the standard yearly
>> incident support rate from the reseller?

> There is a rule in place within the New York Tech Meetup community.
> Questions about business models are off limits for the mailing lists and
> the demo days.  Its a good rule because no one is going to provide
> answers to business model questions and asking simply creates a awkward
> rejection.

I think that it would be appropriate to discuss the business model of any
sort of foundation or non-profit, where the organization is responsible to
the community.  That's one of the fundamental differences between private
for-profits and public not-for-profits; indeed, it's what makes them
private and public.

Some degree of speculation about the total amount of money available in
the community or about the donations of private organizations to various
costs is probably appropriate (even unavoidable).  I think the line is
somewhere between talking about the total funding required to implement
something like rxgk and asking Sine Nomine what their business model is
for doing AFS development, and the latter is really a conversation that
one would have privately with Sine Nomine (if at all).

Part of the problem with discussing business models is that everyone seems
to have an opinion, but the business models of private companies are
usually driven largely by their contracts with their customers, and those
often involve private contracts that neither party is interested in
discussing in public.  So a lot of the discussion happens without all the
necessary information and isn't very useful, and it involves people who
really have no say, and it's tricky to work around the confidential
information.  (As opposed to a public non-profit, where by definition the
general public *does* have a say.)

Russ Allbery (rra@stanford.edu)             <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>