Awesome coin design done with free software such as Ubuntu and Python. This blog post describes how the design of a new limited edition 5 euro coin was created. The post provides detailed graphics of how author made a prize winning design for a Dutch Ministry of Finance.
From the post:
The Dutch Ministry of Finance organized an architecture competition for which a selected group of architectural offices (unstudio, nox, ...) and artists were invited, including myself. The goal of the competition was not to design a building, but the new 5 euro commemorative coin with the theme 'Netherlands and Architecture'. The winner will be rewarded with a nice price, but most of all with the honor: his design will be realized and will be a legal coin within the Netherlands.
Fig.01: The real coin back side
=> How to make money with free software...
MySQL, Red Hat and many other open source projects made good amount of money by supporting and creating world class software. But, how do you get venture capital - financing to grow businesses based upon open source ideas? If you are opening an open source software / hardware based business, read this getting started article about VC funding.
A venture capitalist (also known as a VC) is a person or investment firm that makes venture investments, and these venture capitalists are expected to bring managerial and technical expertise as well as capital to their investments. A venture capital fund refers to a pooled investment vehicle (often an LP or LLC) that primarily invests the financial capital of third-party investors in enterprises that are too risky for the standard capital markets or bank loans.
Venture capital is most attractive for new companies with limited operating history that are too small to raise capital in the public markets and are too immature to secure a bank loan or complete a debt offering. In exchange for the high risk that venture capitalists assume by investing in smaller and less mature companies, venture capitalists usually get significant control over company decisions, in addition to a significant portion of the company's ownership (and consequently value).
Here in India VC funding reached to US $6.5 billion at the end of 2007. Most VC firms in India are either divisions or subsidiaries of Silicon Valley funds. They are primarily centered in Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai.
Keith Ward has published an interesting article about getting funds for your small project:
So, you've got the greatest open source idea since Firefox. It's guaranteed to be bigger than TCP/IP. All you need now is some scratch to get your project off the ground. Given the genius of your idea, you're sure you'll have to beat off potential investors with a stick. If you think that's reality, I've got some subprime mortgages to sell you. Getting venture capital (VC) to fund your business is hard work, even if you have a commercial product to sell. The degree of difficulty ratchets up many times if you're an open source developer. It can be done, but it takes such single-minded focus that getting turned down multiple -- maybe even dozens -- of times won't faze you.
=> How to get VC investment for your open source
SAP and Intel , the world's biggest makers of business software and microchips, will jointly offer servers pre-packaged with SAP software aimed at medium-sized firms, the two companies said.
SAP aims to provide customers with a 45% savings on implementation and a 25% savings on total cost of ownership over what they'd typically spend for a comparable hardware/software combo, said Jans Peter Klaey, president of global SME at SAP, in an interview.
The server is available in five Northern European countries and should reach 20 countries this year.
=> SAP, Intel to offer out-of-the-box servers for SME's
If you know open source based application development, you can make more money. A report from New York City-based consulting company Bluewolf says IT salaries across the board will continue to rise in 2008:
The rise of open source software in application development puts developers with a specialization in those technologies in a position to ask for a 30 or 40 percent pay increase, Kirven says. "We've gotten more requests from our permanent placement division for open source developers in the last six months than in the last five or six years combined," he says. "It's not as easy as getting free software, someone has to get it up and running. LAMP is everywhere now -- these types of technologies no one heard of 18 months ago are all the sudden becoming a hot commodity."
Recently, Sun acquired MySQL for USD 1 billion. Today Trolltech announced that they have entered into an agreement that Nokia to acquire Trolltech for USD 150 million. Congratulations, Eirik, Haavard and the crew.
Trolltech created Qt, a multi-platform C++ Graphical User Interfaces (GUI) framework which also includes packages such as data structures and a networking library. The popular free Unix desktop environment KDE uses. From the press release:
Nokia and Trolltech ASA today announced that they have entered into an agreement that Nokia will make a public voluntary tender offer to acquire Trolltech (www.trolltech.com), a company headquartered in Oslo, Norway and publicly listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Trolltech is a recognized software provider with world-class software development platforms and frameworks. In addition to the key software assets, its talented team will play an important role in accelerating the implementation of Nokia's software strategy.
Nokia will offer NOK 16 per share in cash. The board of directors of Trolltech has unanimously recommended that its shareholders accept Nokia's Offer. Holders of 35,024,830 shares, representing approximately 66,43 % of Trolltech's issued shares and votes have as of January 27, 2008 irrevocably undertaken to accept the Offer. Haavard Nord, Vuonislahti Invest AS (controlled by Eirik Chambe-Eng), Teknoinvest and certain funds managed by Index Ventures are among the shareholders who have agreed to tender their shares to Nokia.
This is yet another Linux success story. PayPal says Linux grid can replace IBM mainframes:
PayPal is currently processing $1,571 worth of transactions per second in 17 different currencies on about 4,000 servers running Red Hat Linux. Thompson supervises a payment system that operates on about 4,000 servers running Red Hat Linux in the same manner that eBay and Google conduct their business on top of a grid of Linux servers. "I have been pleasantly surprised at how much we've been able to do with this approach. It operates like a mainframe," he said.
=> Read complete story here
Open source is getting lots of popularity and if you are an entrepreneur you make some good money too. HylaFAX is an enterprise-class system for sending and receiving facsimiles as well as for sending alpha-numeric pages. The software is designed around a client-server architecture. Fax modems may reside on a single machine on a network and clients can submit an outbound job from any other machine on the network. Client software is designed to be lightweight and easy to port.
iFAX, a commercial company that is built on open source fax server software HylaFAX, was recently included in Inc. Magazine's 2007 list of the top 500 fastest growing companies in the United States. iFAX founder Darren Nickerson says one of the keys to iFAX's success has been its commitment to the open source community behind HylaFAX. "Our success is tied to the openness of the software."
=> Open source entrepreneur turns his hobby into an Inc. 500 enterprise