Do You Have Time Or Money?

[Dutch Lock Down Day Three Hundred Eighty Four]

If you’re thinking of going the open source route because it’s #FreeAsInBeer take a hard look at your resources and tell me which you have less of – time or money.

Because if you have very little money, but plenty of time, then, yes, explore the open source version.

However, if you have very little time, but plenty of money, then get the enterprise version.

These are the strongest indicators for whether to go the open source route or the enterprise route.

But first the news:

When I was the community liaison for RDO Project one of my responsibilities was demonstrations and talks and a LOT of people were interested because they wanted to save some money.

Which is completely understandable.

The popularity of open source over the past few years is driven in part by the global economic recession – when you don’t have money, then open source IS fiscally cheaper than enterprise.

However, you MUST have time to learn the technology, to troubleshoot, to administer, to hack, to play, to experiment, and PLENTY of time to fail.

Because you will fail.

And you must persevere.

And when you do, yes, you’ll have a project that cost you less money.

But more time.

And how much is your time worth?

If you’re a student, well, your hourly rate is rather low because your experience is lower and, if you’re lucky enough to have extra time to play rather than work your way through university, then you have time to spare. And can fail fast and often.

But if you’re a CEO, time is premium.

You’d rather hire someone to figure it out than figure it out yourself. And if you’re already hiring someone else to figure it out, then why wouldn’t you spend a bit more to get support and brand and advocacy within a company’s product?

The thing is there are some very large projects which DO have that time to play and hack and fail fast – like CERN – because they have chosen to invest the time to make it work.

So ask yourself, which do you have? Time or money? Or, conversely, which is worth more?

Do you have plenty of time to spend on learning open source or would you rather spend the money on the tested, hardened, supported, feature rich, branded enterprise version?

The choice is yours.