Can we charge for an open source BlogBridge

As you know we are developing BlogBridge, "a new kind of blog reader." As you may know, BlogBridge is open source (see https://sourceforge.net/projects/blogbridge/.)

With all our recent progress, I feel that pretty soon BlogBridge will be functional enough that it will actually be usable, and suitable for a beta. And after a successful beta, we plan to start charging for it, in some form or another.

The $64,000 question is: "How does it make sense to charge for a product, when all the source code is available for anyone to download for free?" Our theory right now, is that people who would be willing to pay for an application like this, are paying not just for the source code, but it's maintenance, enhancement, packaging, and evolution. And more likely than not, most of those people wouldn't know what to do with the source code, how to build and run it or deal with problems.

So the bet is that there will not be significant canibalization, at least initially. Over time, depending on how things go, it might make sense to have a different, non-open-source, commercial version of BlogBridge.
Posted on May 17, 2004 and filed under BlogBridge.