Open Source-onomics: Examining some pseudo-economic arguments about Open Source
Is it possible to make money off Open Source? In the light of all that we have discussed, this now seems a rather petty and inconsequential question to ask. There is great wealth that will be created through Open Source in the coming months and years, and very little of that will have anything to do with money. A lot of it will have to do with people being empowered to help themselves and raise their living standards. No saint, statesman or scholar has ever done this for them, and certainly no merchant. If this increase in the overall size of the economic pie results in proportionately more wealth for all, then that's the grand answer to our petty question.
Economics is all about human achievement. It wasn't aliens from outer space who raised us from our caves to where we are today. It was the way we organized ourselves to create our wealth, rather like the donkey with a carrot dangling before it that pulls a cart a great distance. Open Source gives means to human aspiration. It breaks the artificial mercantilist limits of yesterday's software market and unleashes potentially limitless growth.
When the dust settles, and even the greatest industrial creations of today stand dwarfed by the scale of development that Open Source will bring in its wake, the world will have learnt a thing or two about economics.