New regulations could mark the end of proprietary finance.
Currently, anyone can crowdfund products, projects, causes, and sometimes debt. Current U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations make crowdfunding companies (i.e. selling stocks rather than products on crowdfund platforms) illegal. The only way to sell stocks to the public at large under the current law is through the heavily regulated Initial Public Offering (IPO) process.
The JOBS Act will soon change these rules. This will mean that platforms like Kickstarter will be able to sell shares in companies, assuming those companies follow certain strict rules. This change in finance law will enable open source companies to access capital and dominate the technology industry. This is the dawn of crowdfunded finance, and with it comes the dawn of open source technology everywhere.
The JOBS Act is already law, and it required the SEC to create specific rules by specific deadlines. The SEC is working on the rulemaking, but it has made it clear that given the complexity of this new finance structure, meeting the deadlines is not achievable. No one is happy with the delay but the rules should be done in late 2013 or early 2014.
When those rules are addressed, thousands of open source companies will use this financial instrument to create new types of enterprise open source software, hardware, and bioware. These companies will be comfortably funded by their open source communities. Unlike traditional venture-capital-backed companies, these new companies will narrowly focus on getting the technology right and putting their communities first. Eventually, I think these companies will make most proprietary software companies obsolete. Read more…
Innovation was once the sole rent source in the computer industry, but things have changed.
We love companies that innovate, even if they can extract rent from it. What we don't like is when they mature and transition to less palatable rent extraction strategies.
In an article covering the Palm Pre mobile device, Ars Technica makes a very important point about how devices utilize network connectivity, and what the assumptions are underlying their models of data storage and access: Users just make changes to their data (contacts, calendar, mail, etc.), and Palm's webOS handles committing those changes to whatever canonical data source it…
Wholesale dismissal of the cloud is just as detrimental as wholesale commitment.
In the wake of MSN Music's authorization decision, Steve O'Hear from last100 looks at five DRM-based businesses that left customers high and dry. From the article: Any digital store that sells or loans you content in a copy-protected format makes you a hostage to that store or format's commercial success. (Via Teleread) Related Stories: DRM, DMCA and Competitive Lock-In Responsibly…