This page last changed on Dec 11, 2013 by jive.

Hey, just finished up a panel and a presentation at Location Intelligence.

Wanted to post my slides here for all to reuse. These are available under a Creative Commons attribution license, please reuse them to convince others to use open source.

The slides are at: cholmes-li.ppt and cholmes-li.odp (the odp doesn't do the animations as nicely, since they were done in ppt originally).

I gave a 12 minute presentation with them, mostly honing in on one point. I lost my notes, but I'll try to recreate:

There are many potential benefits to open source software: a true market for support services, independance from vendor lockin, better localization, zero initial costs (try before you buy), and ability to customize to one's own needs.

Each of those can be talked of in length, but I'm here to hone in on a particular area, in an attempt to make exactly one point:

With proprietary software, the money you spend on software is a sunk cost. With Open Source software the 'cost' is in fact an investment that will continue to pay dividends.

How does this work? With open source your money goes to increasing the strength of a snowball that draws its energy from all over the world. When you fund an improvement, doing so then makes it more likely that the next potential contributor will positively evaluate the project and put their money in. This creates potential benefits that you can reap years later.

This talk is focused on consumers of software, but the core thought is equally applicable to vendors looking to use open source projects as building blocks in their proprietary offerings, or even releasing some of their core products as open source. Open Source distributes innovation, and anyone can tap into the ever increasing return on investment, if they do it right'.

The rest of the slides are fairly self explanatory, I used them to just drive home the fact that your investment pays dividents. Slide shows there's only one way to interact with closed source, and the next slide shows how there's an ecosystem of interaction, where people give differently and get different things out of their involvement with open source. If anyone's really interested I can write up each of the individual examples. Then in the next slide it contrasts how things are different when it comes time to upgrade, with proprietary software they charge you again the next year, even though what you put in was what enabled them to grow their code base. In open source the energy you put in to the community pot increases the strength even more than just you did, and you can reap the rewards from everyone else a couple years down the line. It concludes with listed text points, about the importance of really becoming a part of the community, not just using the software and thinking it's a cure all.

Feel free to take the core slides out and just use them as pieces in other presentations. The point can be made much more quickly than I did, I just wanted to really drive it home.


cholmes-li.ppt (application/vnd.ms-powerpoint)
cholmes-li.odp (application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation)
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