March 14, 2006

SXSW Interactive: Commons Based Business Models

Panel Description:

Open source software business models have gone from theoretical to profitable over the past half decade-companies like Red Hat, MySQL, JBOSS, and IBM. How will peer production business models prove out in the content space? Learn how pioneering commons-based businesses are creating what Business 2.0 calls the next multi-billion dollar industry.

My notes (not direct quotes):

Clarke: Started with freenet, a peer to peer network for circumventing internet censorship. Started revver, a video distribution service for individuals.
Malango: Works with Magnatune, an online music label based on the open source model. Use non-commercial and share alike Creative Commons licenses.
Wales: Aside from Wikipedia, started Wikia, a for-profit company offering wiki services for interest groups. Commons based model is not so much about for vs. non profit, but about open vs. closed.
Ito: What about funding a commons based businesses?
Malango: Magnatune is self funded because of the passion of founder, John Buckman. The need exists to make the company sustainable.
Clarke: Same funders as Skype. Fund raising has been pretty easy with Ravver vs. other companies.
Wales: Step 1: Become the 20th most popular website in the world. Step 2: Beat the investors off with a stick until you're sure you have the right one.
Ito: Fairly easy to get funded right now, but that's not necessarily a good thing.
Clarke: Revver needed some money to get started, but if you can do it without, it's often a better way.
Ito: Creative Commons does a lot of work to make the licenses easy to use, understand and transmit.
Wales: As more commons based content is created, businesses can support other businesses by providing more content.

at March 14, 2006 11:23 AM