At "Open For Business ", an interesting post says that the price of Open Source is expertise. I'd say that's definitely true (and have said so in the past). No argument there. However, this paragraph caught my attention:
OK, agreed again, but does it have to be a "billion dollar opportunity"? What's so horrible about just making a decent living? Why is it that somebody has to get rich for this to be a good thing?
Can somebody please tell me why having a decent income isn't enough? I was talking with some neighbors at coffee this morning. These are mostly conservative people, mostly voting Republican, mostly McCain supporters in the last election, and not big fans of Obama even now. People who generally are far removed from my political views. I ventured that since the AIG mess and everything else around it, I've become much more socialistic. I believe in things I never believed in years ago: socialized medicine, higher taxes for the filthy rich. I didn't expect agreement, but to my surprise I got affirmative nods - these conservative leaning folks are looking pretty radical!
I don't mean that I'm not still a believer in the capitalist system. I am, but I have come to believe that it needs more controls, more taxes, more safety nets, and more people making an honest living from honest work.
Selling expertise is an honest living. You aren't enriching yourself by abusing others. With the incredible communications the Internet has brought us, small groups and even individuals can compete with giant corporations - this is a very different world.
Open Source doesn't have to be a billion dollar opportunity to make it valuable.
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