Will the credit crunch affect Open Source more than Closed Source projects?

James Robertson raises an interesting point:

Open Source Directions
In the midst of all of this financial uncertainty, I'm really curious as to how various open source projects will fare. Will they suffer because the corporations backing them will pull back? Or, in the midst of layoffs, will they keep plugging away because people have nothing else to work on? Or will corporations keep investing in open source - assuming services revenues hold up?

I have no idea, to be honest - but I imagine that there's going to be an impact.

I have no idea either ( aren't bloggers useless), perhaps there is some data somewhere.  The answer depends on many things including the types of participant, license, business model etc.  For instance:
  • Amateur programmers: the students and others chipping in for the fun and experience of it will continue - perhaps they will do more as their willingness to spend on movies, restaurants, bars goes down?
  • Open source projects which support a pure services play
  • Open source projects which are a foundation for other projects (e.g Eclipse) - affected by the down turn in the license sales but perhaps gaining from sharing development of the commodity components
  • Combinations of the last 2 points - could be spreading the risk.
Of course, what about businesses depending on non-open source?  These will slow down for sure, but more or less than those based on Open Source?

My gut feel says that everyone will hurt, but that any business model which sidesteps a business model which makes their customers shell out large lumps of money will suffer most.  Lot's of small transactions or amateurism will win out !

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