To charge for your <strong>work</strong> you have to charge per hour used. This is the dilemma for the genius: if you come up with some real novelty, like I know of a way to represent pictures as polynomials in a helix, allowing the objects to be recognised irrelevant to direction, but without the application (the military detecting the same objects flying north/south or east/west) or X-ray showing the broken leg this way or that, and really willing to sponsor the development, I am totally stuck. I do not work on DoD projects or in a huge group of medical equipment, so I am better off either to shut up with the genius way of storing images, or use it to solve a problem with upside/sideways X-rays that I have been asked to solve. Then ask the organisation I work with to protect the novelty, and help me get paid by spreading the word and protecting it. You need the umbrella bigger than you to license and protect. It is better to work and share, and be part of novelty. Those that need to protect their work usually is not even paid their hourly rate, but just too embarrassed to say so.
Regarding the remark that few things have been developed by open source, then I add that very few things have been developed by others. Had you told e in 1985 that I could still contribute, participate and hack, I would have laughed. It is silly how much is just the same as 25 years ago. Well, three letter acronyms have changed but they do not impress me. I have started a new project all by myself, because I am fed up with things being slow. Who could believe that, definitely not me.
The elegance of open source is that you can pinch the work that others have done, make the modifications that you want to do, and then apply it in the new domain.
All this marketing and sales, is silly. How can an individual reach 2,000 customers? Bill Gates met with IBM - one (1) client and probably 5-10 people that considered his proposal. How much has MS contributed with since, other than pretty borders? From 1980 to 1990 the technology developed, we met and exchanged ideas, we competed, made standards, lectured and got things done. I know, I was director of R&D and said "drop-it" on all ideas that were 3 months old. The HTML this network is based on was defined in those days, we used email that would make Outlook appear simple, that included encryption, and safety certificates, and full integration with ERP applications, database tools, task flow. Unless you open for organisations to use what you make, steal if you like, we will all invent the same things. We will do it more or less the same ways and fight over who did it first. The courtroom is the lest productive place on earth!