3) Provide open source services to small businesses
As most open source companies scurry to help out big businesses with their operational needs, I would point out that right from your own locale, plenty of smaller businesses are losing productivity due to spam, viruses/malware and a general operational breakdown.
By helping your potential clients plug into open source solutions like Jooma, SugarCRM and ClearHealth, you provide substantial savings to them in terms of license fees. And if theyre set up properly, these things can take care of themselves.
Two other very cool projects making their way into the open source universe that I discovered recently include DayCare Office (still being developed) and SureInvoice. Both of these options prove that some web-based applications do, in fact, provide both value to the end user and security for your growing consulting businesses. Seriously, even if the code is open, do you really believe the local dentist office is going to grab it and then manage their own servers? Not too likely.
Once you grasp the concept that you are selling solutions rather than software, you will find this to be an extremely lucrative field, with the right approach. If you come from a development background and need a solid place to start, I would recommend this book Open Source Solutions For Small Business Problems. This book provides you with an outstanding head start over most who enter this field from the beginning.
4) Coding local applications to sell products for you
Ever hear of an application called Firefox? Chances are, I bet you have. What about amaroK? Less known, but still working along the same lines. Both of these applications found ways of taking existing products and services in the physical world and implemented open source software around them. Let me explain further...
Firefox has a Google search bar built into the web browser. Each time you search, then click on an AdSense ad, they are generating revenue. Now here is the truly powerful part the revenue is 100% passive! Yes, you are doing all the work for Mozilla and they in turn concentrate on working with their community of developers to better improve the Firefox browser.
So how does amaroK play into all of this? Like Apple's iTunes, they now have the fixed inclusion of a music store for independent music. But for those needing something more mainstream, Amazon affiliate links for specifically target music groups are also provided.
Again, this is a fantastic solution to open source software development supported by passive income. Once they are ready for a mainstream release, those not using Linux will also have similar options through the songbird project, also well positioned for a similar approach to passive income through music sales.
Is any of this soaking in? Recap: Build your application with passive income in mind! Locate an appropriate product or hosted service that correlates well with an application that you are working on from within the depths of the open source universe. Unlike the options above, this approach provides a retail aspect with a worldwide reach.