Flavours of Licensing Models for Open Development + Scale Monetisation
January 19, 2017 11:09 PM   Subscribe

What are the best examples of successful products / companies with a licensing model that releases code to the dev community allowing them to operate a small instance for $0, however, if an instance scales over a threshold, then the licensing model introduces charging on a per instance / per size / per traffic basis?
posted by travellingincognito to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Slack, Altassian, and Fog Creek spring to mind immediately. There's a lot of DevOps/Cloud tools that do the same.
posted by Candleman at 11:52 PM on January 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Assuming you really mean "allows use of the service for free" instead of actually handing over source code, you are describing pracitally every SAAS/IAAS service nowadays.

Just today I built a small app using GitLab/Twilio/Heroku, all without providing payment. AWS has it's free tiers for many of their services. In the last week I've setup Trello and Slack with out paying anything.

This model is very common.
posted by sideshow at 12:24 AM on January 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

Are you talking about something that a business hosts or that the user hosts themselves? The former is the very common freemium model, the latter is more complex.

If it's user hosted then the model is usually giving away product keys to users that allow the limited functionality and require the user to purchase a key to get more usage. An example would be Microsoft SQL Server Express vs the SQL Server Standard or Enterprise. But typically these are binary distributions, not source code distributions.

Giving away source code and making money from it is typically done via support contracts. RedHat is an example here.

So who do you expect to host the software and do you expect to distribute source or binaries?
posted by GuyZero at 10:52 AM on January 20, 2017

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