Emerging developers looking to build a software business face many challenges. MacDevCenter has already published some great articles offering sound practical advice - from sales and marketing, to setting up online payments.
Not discussed so far, and what this article looks at, is positioning your software when faced with free or open-source competition, which can threaten your business no matter how well you execute the above. This is an issue facing all developers, from bedroom coders to large corporations. Learning by example from the likes of Apple is valid.
The articles tries to highlight how open source can be used for commercial advantage. The fact that BSD hasn't gone "bankrupt" is the reason why OS X exists today. Many successful shareware applications are built upon free and/or open-source tools at the core.
An article that espoused one form of software or licence as superior to any other, inevitably gets drawn into a wider philosophical debate on software's role in society. Think GPL vs BSD.
Perhaps developing a new framework, or shoe-horning the software industry into MBA course "models", would have served as a more practical guide. However, I think the software industry is too innovative and dynamic to be captured so easily.
Familiarity with the subject matter can vary greatly. I hope the article serves as food for thought, and sparks off more discussion as to how developers can build a successful business.
Thanks for the feedback,
Wai (Simon) Liu