You can make money with open source. Literally. |

You can make money with open source. Literally.

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This is an old story--two years old, to be specific. But it was new to me when I heard it at LinuxCon, and it was new to a lot of others in the room too. And it was a great story, so I wanted to share it further.

In 2008, the Dutch Ministry of Finance held a competition to design a coin that would honor the country's architecture.

To briefly describe the coin, on one side is a portrait of Queen Beatrix. But on closer examination, the portrait is made of of the names of Dutch architects. The names aren't all readable with the human eye, which the designer describes as a "compact disc" of information in the ancient format of a coin.

On the reverse are books by and about Dutch architects, arranged circularly. The shape in the center is an outline of The Netherlands. Bird silhouettes represent the capitals of the provinces.

netherlands coin

How is this relevant to The entire design was completed with open source software, including:

So the result? "Making money" with free software.

I recommend reading full explanation of the design. It's really remarkably well thought-out, and far more in-depth than most people probably consider when they're dropping their change into parking meters.

About the author

Ruth Suehle - Ruth Suehle is the community leadership manager for Red Hat's Open Source and Standards team. She's co-author of Raspberry Pi Hacks (O'Reilly, December 2013) and a senior editor at GeekMom, a site for those who find their joy in both geekery and...