"The switch to a mesh topology for society1 has led to easy access for everyone to Free software created by open source communities. The result is an emerging approach which is rapidly spreading for smaller software projects and in my view is the future of all software acquisition. The emerging approach is an adoption-led market.
In this approach, developers select from available Free software and try the software that fits best in their proposed application. They develop prototypes, switch packages as they find benefits and problems and finally create a deployable solution to their business problem. At that final point, assuming the application is sufficiently critical to the business to make it worthwhile to do so, they seek out vendors to provide support, services (like defect resolution) and more. Adoption-led users are not all customers; they only become so when they find a vendor with value to offer." (http://blogs.sun.com/webmink/entry/the_adoption_led_market)
"Written down like that, it seems pretty obvious, but having a name for it – an adoption-led market – has really helped pull together explanations and guide strategy. For example:
- In a procurement-driven market you need to go out and sell and have staff to handle the sales process, but in an adoption-led market you need to participate in communities so you can help users become customers.
- In a procurement-led market you need shiny features and great demos, whereas in an adoption-led market you need software that is alive, evolving and responsive to feedback.
- In an adoption-led market you need support for older hardware and platforms because adopters will use what works on what they already have.
- Adoption-led users self-support in the community until they deploy (and maybe afterwards if the project is still “beta”) so withholding all support as a paid service can be counter-productive."