Friday, October 2, 2015

The glass of wine thats worth 350 million dollars

Today while reading the Linux Foundations report titled ( Estimating the Total Development Cost of Linux Foundation’s Collaborative Projects ) that is located here.

Top-level findings from the report include:
  • The total lines of source code present today in Linux Foundation’s Collaborative Projects are 115,013,302.
  • The estimated, total amount of effort required to retrace the steps of collaborative development for these projects is 41,192.25 person years.
  • In other words, it would take 1,356 developers 30 years to recreate the code bases present in Linux Foundation’s current Collaborative Projects listed above. The total economic value of this work is estimated to be over 5 billion dollars.
I began to think what a project like WineHQ would be worth using their same estimates and cost  variables. So first I need the Total Physical Source Lines of Code (SLOC) in Wine and that is 3,512,143 as of yesterday.

Next to make this extremely simple I need the average cost per SLOC and if I divide  $5,663,488,007.63 by 115,013,302 I get $49.24 as the average cost per line of code. Now all I need to do is multiply 3,512,143 by $49.24 and we get  $172,937,921.32

But now your asking yourself why did I title this article the 350 million dollar glass of Wine when in fact the source is only worth 172 million.

Because if you actuality read the report you will see that they have not taken documentation, the projects web sites, marketing, or brand value into account. And I could even go further down the rabbit hole and include  “emotional attachment” or “top of mind.” because everything has a value.

If we now take a look ( The Value of Freedom: Linux Kernel Worth $1.4 Billion ) in this article we get into what a brand is worth, keep in mind brand valuation is only a guessing game, While Apple or Google would have excellent brand values I don't foresee many company's opening their doors tomorrow under the name ENRON.

"I think lawyers would likely evaluate the value of a trademark differently than we did," McPherson said. "I think they would take into account the 'goodwill' of the brand around the world and the economic systems it powers, which is far, far more than the $1.4 billion of the code due to its use, its network, its momentum, etc. That's why the $1.4 billion number is low."

Should third party applications like PlayOnLinux, PlayOnMac, WineBottler, Wine-Staging's patch set etc etc be included. Because they are all open source and are built around the Wine project.

Should we also include the commercial backing from company's like CodeWeavers and the ingenious marketing strategies to further the WineHQ brand.

And lastly developer worth isn't included in any of these other evaluation's, I believe the talent pool around a project is another form of worth because their are only so many guru hackers on this planet and if your project is fortunate like the Wine project and you have between 20 and 50 of the worlds best programmers that in it's self is saying something.

So to get the total valuation of 350 million dollars I essentially doubled the SLOC worth because that is only about half of a given projects net value.

Comments, Flames or thumbs up are always welcome...

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1 comment:

Damjan said...

Writing and debugging Wine code is significantly harder than writing and debugging code from other Linux projects, so I suspect you underestimate its true value :-).