Monday, March 05, 2007

Your Failed Business Model Is Not My Problem

I need to get back into the blogging groove since returning from PyCon (not to mention writing about PyCon...), and you'd think this post by Dave Tosh, entitled "Open source - only in an ideal world" would be enough to get my juices flowing, but Stephen covered it pretty comprehensively, and Dave's petulant response ("Downes’ post borders on slanderous") only makes him sound worse.

I've never quite gotten a feel for where Dave & Co. were going with elgg, and I don't understand what their business model is/was supposed to be, so I can't really criticize it in detail. It has always seemed to me that they were too interested in proposing a specific alternative model for education to suit the market of existing K-12 schools very well, but I assume they already knew that. I don't presume to know the first thing about selling software or services to universities or businesses. I do know that there are lots of Zope and Plone shops selling open source based services to universities such as Infrae in Rotterdam.


Alexandre said...

As you seem to know about the situation without being involved in the "debate," could you explain to us laypeople why Dave and Ben seem so angry at Stephen's reply? To me, as an outside observer, Stephen's reply sounded quite insightful and not at all personal. He analysed Dave's arguments one by one, trying to maintain the logical consistency behind it, giving Dave the benefit of the doubt.
Or did I misread Stephen's post and it was all an attack on Dave's "character" in the "community?"

Thanks in advance!

Tom Hoffman said...

I think it is because they feel Stephen accused them of being "in it for the money," which in most contemporary spheres is not an insult, but in education and/or free software sometimes is. Since Dave's original post seemed mostly to focus on the inability to get investors or be bought out by Cisco, I think it was perfectly reasonable response by Stephen.