Supermike Decides To Go GPL, Afterall
Mark April 23, 2006 as the day I finally decided to go 100% GPL. However, my story with you all begins here.
My wife is a driving force in my life. She is my judge and jury, sometimes. She is my banker and partial financier. She pays all my bills and I help bring 60% of the cash home. She is an extremely intelligent but practical woman. She knows that I, like many of you here, am an intelligent and wildly creative person with an entrepreneurial spirit. After much talk from libervisco and a_thing, and the guys over at lxer.com as well, I have spent long hours sharing these views with my wife and one of my huge projects I've been working on for several years. I also made the cases about Richard Stallman, Marc Fleury, and the founders of many other huge software projects. She was a tough sell.
However, to my surprise, she did a 180 degree about-face and told me she wants me to get my project out and go GPL. She and I believe that by using the GPL rather than other licenses, I can gain an even wider acceptance and perhaps have some backing from the EFF if I were ever sued by the evil patent trolls. (Which is another reason why GPL is wildly popular -- big business has a better chance to trust a certain software package is going to stick around if it has the EFF defending it. The EFF has a proven track record.)
* I can understand the viral idea effect of free software, and charging for everything else. Let's see how much interest this huge project you've been working on will generate.
* It is better to release an idea that you've been working so hard on for all these years to see if it generates any interest, perhaps enough interest to even pay you to customize it.
* Perhaps like Marc [Fleury], you can potentially grow a niche market, even if only a slightly profitable one, until some bigger company loves the idea so much that they want to buy you out or merge you in with theirs. (My note: this Synergy goes back to something important I read called Selling, Services, Subsidization, and Synergy from Dharmesh Shah.)
* If it does not generate interest, then at least you can move on and nothing from nothing leaves nothing.
* Moving on to other projects may, in fact, lead to something that sticks and may become profitable through indirect means.
* You have many other ideas and you're not able to capitalize on them because of this big fish. What if you finally had the chance to work out all your ideas? What other kinds of cool relationships and happenings could come of that?
So, I was a tough sell, and my wife was an even tougher sell, but we now see the light and I plan to finish my 0.5 beta of my big project within about 2 months and get it out.