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The ocPortal/ocProducts business model - Comments

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The ocPortal/ocProducts business model

Posted 22 September 2011, 12:15 PM
ocPortal has always been developed to an Open Source business model. Originally, it was a "pay to remove the need to credit us" model, but for the last 4 or so years it has been a "services" model.

The reasoning for our continued belief in Open Source is thus…

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The "Free" Religion

" said
it would take over 7 million dollars to write ocPortal from scratch".

There has never been a social/commercial model like the Cybernet before. The nearest was the matriachal societies of the Indu delta, 10,000 years ago.
"Free" is as demeaned a word as "love", today.

It *is* confusing. Ordinary experience cannot prepare ordinary people for understanding the complexities of the "freebie".
It is as simple as that.

That goes for most programmers whose technical skills far outweigh their trading abilities. :-)

In the "other" world, traders still offer you a cup of coffee or cold drink to entice you.
To prepare you to look favourably on them.

The confusion here is the distinction between a "sample" and a "free" service or product.

Even a rapacious lawyer will give you a "free" consultation to pitch you for work.
A Vice-President of one of the world's biggest oil companies was aghast when he discovered that my little Productivity Counselling business was charging retainers to all his "competitors" of amounts far higher than even he made. (Far Higher…  :-) ) and I was just a kid.

He couldn't see where the money went. All my offices around the world were tiny. Then he discovered that they were self-financing ( Ihad invented the "fully serviced office" concept way back then, which paid all their running costs for me, internationally.)

He was querying a bill of mine for a large sum, which basically said "for services rendered".
He, a typically cosseted American upper class man had no idea of the real world in which my "underground" payroll was very, very substantial.

His problem was that my little practise was being paid far greater rates than their gigantic other "consultants".
He couldn't see why.
His bosses could.

But, in this insane Cyberworld of today, there is no fundamental stable structure. It is full of (literally) kids, being manipulated by a totally new and functionally impossible financial system beyond the Medici's wildest dreams.
However, it is just a dream for the most part.
Like all dreams, it is not real.
For people like Chris and the thousands of others trying to make a way in today's economy, it is still a lottery. A lottery.

OCP needs to create a fundamental bio-structure to grow.
1. Separate commercial and O.S. activities completely. Two companies.
2. Refer all "custom" enquries to the "parent" which needs to be faked up to look real, big and serious.
3. Offer contractual paid support. NEVER by ticket/incident. That is self-destructive and only for Dentists and Cosmetic Surgeons.
4. "Pay" your O.S. supporters. Prizes and useful things for their help.  The funding must - of course! - come from the ACTIVE commercial side.

THis would finally clear up most misconceptions for all concerned - and self-create the future possible directions released from the emotional aspects.

Peace! It's easier…
I appreciate your thoughts :).

Succinct, and yes, a good referral point for when demands and expectations become unreasonable.

Only one observation: when did they become a 'company'?
"… offshoring to companies like India …"


haha. Good point ;).


I am glad you wrote this as it summarizes and clarifies things quite well.

As a member of the third group, I have no budget for my project. But I started to ask myself what was the value that ocPortal brought me. As a result of that thought process, I decided that it was appropriate for me to sponsor some tracker items as my contribution to the community. Yes, I will benefit directly from most of the changes but I even sponsored one item (#137) I do not currently see a need for just so the catalog stuff got wrapped up.

I wish I had the skills of temp1024, Jean or Fletch, but aside from the occasional question I can answer, I do not. I have received so much more than I have given to this community. I have resolved that next year, I will purchase a certain number of credits each quarter  as my continuing support for the community and ocPortal. Does this make ocPortal less "free" for me? No. It allows me to give back to the community and to get the stuff I want done prioritized. I recognize that not everyone is in the position to do this, but the generous referral option allows those who know decision-makers with a budget to get free credits while helping others resolve their web presence needs.

One more thing I would like to tack on is translations. Everyone is busy (especially leading up to the holidays) but a collaborative effort to work on a translation will make quick work of these projects and will add great value to ocPortal just at the cost of a bit of time. The translations are probably the weakest area for ocPortal compared to the competition. Fortunately, they are also one of the easiest to address.

In the end, what I am saying echoes Chris's summarization: Try to find a way to give more than you get. It's a rewarding feeling.


The Future
This was forwarded to me. The fundamental subject was supposedly 'India'.

I had a good belly-laugh at first, then I pondered the fact that in another 15-20 years this little tyke will be competing for your IT job!


Hehe, cute :).

I'am in the same situation like BobS, no budged but I will support ocortal as basic cms for our webhosting and other and promoting this in our country. Test new versions in a demosite. Maby later I do more. :)

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