One thing you have to know before we move into the 2010’s: the world has changed, again.
We know that you can’t stop free. New business models are about monetising non-monetary economies.. mostly attention. The new business models are about free at massive scale. No barriers to entry.
But, trust has shifted. It’s not good enough to just give stuff away for free.
Enter the .com + .org business model. Corporation and Foundation. Think WordPress and Mozilla.
The new new business model is about.. free and monetising non-monetary economies at scale, but also.. open, free (as in speech) and.. doing well while doing good.
I’ve always liked the .com+.org business model idea, but it was not until I had tea with Maz from Broccoli Project fame that I figured out a clean way to make it all fit.
It’s actually very simple. Make the foundation own the core IP (open source code in our case) and let the foundation own 26% of the corporation’s shares.. then make sure that the foundation will always have 26% through a shareholders’ agreement.
Why 26%?.. well you need a 75% majority for any big ticket changes in a business and you always want the foundation to be represented on the board.
You get the general idea. The foundation keeps the corporation in line and takes care of reputationally sensitive things.. the doing good part.
The corporation gets on with the business of making money.. nothing wrong with doing well.