To whom it may concern


Can open source development be sustainable? And if so, how?

This question raises interest in practitioners, affects ideologically motivated developers, as well as researchers from several disciplines. Open source management challenges traditional business models and views of competition and collaboration. Therefore each stakeholder should take an interest in the way open source management works. Hence we investigate the antecedents of business model choice in the OSS industry, aiming to identify, which factors are or were influential for companies’ initial business decision regarding Open Source. We identified your company as an active member of open source collaboration and development and therefore would like to ask you to participate in this investigation.


I am a research assistant at the Berlin Institute of Technology, Germany, and my research project discusses the implications of open source management. The main objective is analyzing key factors that drive the development of open source business models and how companies and communities can mutually benefit from collaborative development. The project is supervised by Prof. Dr. zu Knyphausen-Aufseß.


I want to kindly ask you take part in our survey on open source business models. If you were involved in decisions on the business strategy of your company, please complete our survey. It will not take more than 10 – 15 minutes to complete. Otherwise, please forward this enquiry to your colleague(s) who are or have been in charge for your business model decision. 


The survey can be accessed online at:


The anonymity of your responses is guaranteed. All data will be analyzed and published only in an aggregated form.

As compensation for your efforts, I would like to offer you a more detailed report on our findings. If you relinquish your anonymity, I can also provide you with a benchmark report that compares your individual answers to the overall study results.


Further information about our research can be found at


I want to thank you in advance for your support.


Yours sincerely


Martin Heitmann