Ten months ago when we just established 0xlab, we do have some ideas regarding our business model in mind. We cannot say exactly what it is, since we are under the constraint of NDA. However, I can roughly outline our goals and our progress here.
In the world of open source, you gain credibility by contributing. The more credibility you have, the more powerful you become. Basically 0xlab’s initial and first goal is to open up our development, establish our credibility and get more publicity. Our policy to open up as much as we can turns out to be more beneficial then we have expected. Since we put our code in the open, any individual or business entity who is interested in us can evaluate our results directly. This leads to direct communication channel to developers inside some big companies such as Google, Qualcomm (Innovation Center), Broadcom, TI, EMBINUX (SQL Star) and Motorola, or even cooperation in business level.
We found out that since we don’t sell software for a living, but instead we use software to add value to the hardware (made by AzureWave), the work we did is actually beneficial to our sponsor, so they are willing to keep supporting us. This means a lot (in my opinion), since nobody in Taiwan believes that people can write open source for a living, until we proved them wrong. I believe we’re reproducing a ecosystem, which is not uncommon in Europe and US, but never shows up in Taiwan before.
Since we can support ourselves now, what’s the next step? I can’t disclose it, but suffice to say we are planning to take this a step further. We hope, once we proved that business can make money from openness, more Taiwanese companies can understand and duplicate our open source model, thus creates more modern software developers and stay closer to the world.