Tuesday, March 07, 2006

All Things FREE Forever business model

Why does this* still smell of the Old Economy to me? Is there a better model?

How about this: all things free forever?

How can one get rich...off of all free forever?

There is a way, an easy way. I think Google and Amazon hold some keys. I want to keep it secret, the real monster killer trick to the all free forever business model. It goes way beyond this hybrid mashup model of "pay as you scale".

How old hat!

*Greenplum and the democratization of data warehousing

March 04, 2006
Filed under: Open Source


Greenplum's announcement of its "Bizgres Network" earlier this week is interesting on a number of different levels.

From a purely technical standpoint, it's very cool to have another excellent spin-out from the PostgreSQL database project (one other being EnterpriseDB).

Web 2.0 gets all the buzz about "remixing" technology - here's a great example of a company taking an already excellent database and making it that much better - better for itself, better for customers, and better for the Postgres community.

It's also interesting because Bizgres MPP "combines parallel processing with fault tolerance in a shared-nothing architecture optimized for BI."

What this means is that Greenplum is dramatically dropping the price of data warehousing (and business intelligence). Like many of the open source projects out there, this should result in a far greater population of enterprises/SMEs actually getting to use data warehousing, rather than it being the province of the elect BigCos.

Open source: democratization of IT for the little guy. Lots of little guys = very big market.

The third thing I find interesting about the announcement is the business model.

Want to try out Greenplum? Knock yourself out. It's free. But the company has a clever business model (as I hinted at a week or two ago): you start to pay as you start to scale out.

This is similar to SugarCRM's, Alfresco's, and others' models, but it's different in that there's a clear line of demarcation between production and development.

Basically, the minute you need to start scaling (which you'd likely only do if you were going into production), adding a database, you trigger the need to pay for support/advanced services from Greenplum.

So, developers get what they want - free access to a solid system - and Greenplum gets what it wants - monetization of the commercial usage of the system.

I like the idea. Hack for free, and pay when you're using the system to make money.

Posted by Matt Asay at 07:15 AM

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Your turn.

What do you think of my business model vs. Greenplum's?

Are you in the Click? The share economy Click? The all things free forever Click?

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