Lodahl's blog: Open source for entrepreneurs

09 September 2007

Open source for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs often don't require comprehensive compatibility from their computer systems. They need a few applications that can solve the every day needs. In most cases a cheep computer and open source software in conjunction with free Internet services can solve the tasks. As a consequense of that, more capital can be invested in developing the company.

A couple of days ago, I gave an interview to a journalist who asked me why open source software is god for entrepreneurs. When an entrepreneur is starting a new company, like a constructions worker or so, the person needs to spend as much time working as possible. Day-to-day administration like time registration, invoicing and budgets should be as simple and easy as possible. The most important IT task is often accounting and that should be handed to a professional. The same solution should be used when the talk comes to marketing and website. Ask the professionals for help and pay the bill. The final result will be much better, and the entrepreneur can spend his or her time developing the company. Outsourcing is the solution, unless the entrepreneur has the required accounting skills. When the company is established, these tasks might be insourced.

At the same time, as much capital as possible should be invested in developing the production and find customers. So every penny you can avoid spending on expensive software, can instead be invested in the key activities in the company. Business development. If you buy computers and software for all possible tasks, you will need thousands of dollars. If you try to look at the requirements with pragmatic eyes, you will find that most tasks can be solved with open source software or Internet services free of charge (e.g. Google Docs and Google Calendar). Even complicated tasks like time planning and financial calculations can be solved quite easily if ou find the right solutions and combinations.

When the company matures and grow, the entrepreneur has the choise between buying commercial software or stay with free, open and independant software.

So, when you start a new company your success is not depending on buying computers and expensive software. On the contrary, you should spend as little time and money on the computer as possible.

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