Building a Successful Business based on the Commercialization of an Open Source Product

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It's not every day that I get a call from an entrepreneur or start-up looking for representation in conjunction with an open source-based business, but the question of how to develop a profitable company when your business is built around an open source product interests me as a software attorney, since if you know anything about open source, you understand there are going to be hurdles to successful commercialization with such a model.   Obviously,  you will have to pursue a different commercialization strategy than you would with a non-open source product, since you will have an open source license to contend with and will have licensing restrictions. The terms of the open source license you are working with will control what types of revenue streams you can pursue for the product, so understanding early on the opportunities for monetization that a particular license affords is going to be critical before building the business.  Also, the development of a carefully thought-out business model at a very early stage is going to be very important, since the options for building a successful revenue stream are inherently more limited in the open source model.  But what other factors are important to successful commercialization of an open source product?  This TechCrunch article written by a former open source CEO offers some excellent insights on the issue:
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