Business Models for Open Source Projects in Environmental Informatics
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Generating a healthy business model is one of the main challenges when setting up an open source project. In this presentation, I will explore how sound, healthy business models for open source projects can look like, with a focus on environmental informatics. I will do so by first analysing which elements of open source projects exist that can, potentially, generate turnover, and will then estimate the relevance of these different elements, for different types of projects, taking into account costs and other efforts. This will be illustrated by several cases, including the openLCA project where I am involved in myself. Result of this is an overview of types of business models of successful open source projects, that each deploy means that fit best to their specific situation. Result is further that these business models frequently do not follow a common pattern; finding these requires often a wider view of analysis, and more creativity, and under certain circumstances, business models are likely to fail. These critical circumstances will be highlighted, as to be carefully avoided when tailoring a new project. I will conclude with a tentative outlook on further development of the identified project types.