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New economic models: Unfunded developments

If there is enough `network effect', there may be no need for funding, just a minimal effort for the organization of releases and patches. Examples of these kinds of open source projects are the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux distributions like Debian, BSD-based operating systems such as FreeBSD, NetBSD, or OpenBSD, and the Mesa OpenGL-like library. These efforts started in many cases as the effort of a single man, or of a small group, and through good organization and volunteer work they created an extended networked structure that maintains the code. Even with some (limited) funding for some projects, all of these efforts become successful without an external grant or without explicit money offerings. In fact, this is the case for hundreds of small open source projects.

Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona