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School of Business | Department of Management and International Business | Organization and Management | 2013
Thesis number: 13375
Publishers, turnkeys, clubs and boutiques. A business model taxonomy in the context of free open source software extensions. Case WordPress.
Author: Vilen, Petri
Title: Publishers, turnkeys, clubs and boutiques. A business model taxonomy in the context of free open source software extensions. Case WordPress.
Year: 2013  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management and International Business
Academic subject: Organization and Management
Index terms: johtaminen; management; tietotalous; knowledge economy; ohjelmistot; software; liiketalous; business economics; mallit; models; ekosysteemit; ecosystems
Pages: 83
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_13375.pdf pdf  size:14 MB (13801689)
Key terms: free open source software, business models, business ecosystems, wordpress
Free open source software (FOSS) is becoming a significant part of our digital infrastructure. The most popular web servers, mobile phones and websites run on FOSS platforms. The modular archi- tecture of the software has also emerged an extension ecosystem around FOSS, complementing the functionality of the core product. Current literature has very few studies on the business models in the extension ecosystems. Therefore, this research aims to fill the gap and answer the question: What kind of business models exist in extension ecosystem of FOSS products?

The research is based on the concepts of FOSS, business ecosystems and business models. WordPress publishing platform is chosen as the case of this study because of its popularity and modular structure, which has emerged a vivid ecosystem. WordPress is also presented through perspectives of history, community, development process, outcome, and the business ecosystem.

The aim of the research is to supplement the current taxonomies on business models in the con- text of FOSS extensions. The business models of 64 companies offering WordPress theme exten- sions are mapped with the business model canvas. The evidence is analyzed through pattern matching, trying generate a taxonomy of business models in the context of FOSS extensions.

Based on the research, it can be suggested that four distinctive business models can be found in the extension ecosystem, which is a novel finding that has not been described in the literature be- fore. These business models are named as Publishers, Turnkeys, Clubs and Boutiques.

The contributions of this study help understanding that the business models in ecosystems are more variable than previous literature describes, and that the business models form around the main actors in the ecosystem.
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