It’s past 1am here so forgive me if this post rambles more than usual, but I wanted to get this thought down while it was still fresh.
I am always on the lookout for new analogies for explaining open source. Some don’t quite hit the mark, such as selling open source software is like selling bottled water, but I think I came up with one today that rings pretty true.
I am often amazed at how little mainstream business understands or knows about open source. To me for many applications it is a no-brainer to use open software.
But today I was thinking. What if I was walking down the street and a person, out of nowhere, offered me food? Nothing really strange or compelling about the person making the offer, just “hey, free food”.
I think my reaction would be very similar to the way most businesses approach open source. First I’d be thinking – is it safe? My second reaction would be – what’s the catch? I mean, I’m pretty much used to paying for food, so free food is kind of suspicious.
I think the analogy works. Of course, it all comes down to trust. If you trust in the person giving you the food, no matter what the context, you are more likely to eat it.
I’ll flesh this out more later, but I need sleep now. Talk amongst yourselves.