Today on Nuxeo answers a user asked about the availability of the latest hotfix package for 5.5 (link to Nuxeo answers question). The reply, as I expected, was that packaged hotfixes are for paying customers only. Absolutely understandable, for although Nuxeo is open source, Nuxeo the company is a business and needs to make money to stay in business and flourish. Hopefully everyone who has invested time and energy in Nuxeo can appreciate this.
But this got me to thinking, maybe there is an additional subscription model for small businesses and individuals, where there is no additional support provided, but hotfixes are sold as-is for a fixed price (via credit card or paypal). To Nuxeo this becomes a transaction requiring no additional labor or cost. Incremental revenue, happier users, and a chance at growing the customer base when users reach a certain size where they feel a more formal support arrangement is warranted.
In my mind, if the cost of a hotfix were set reasonably it would far outbalance the cost of having to build from source and then deploy on one or more servers (and having to deal with any resulting issues). Would $150 per hot fix be reasonable?
I can see the downside to this of course - create more hotfixes to generate more revenue... that would be evil :-)
Ok, so what about an annual hotfix only subscription. Look at the last few releases and the number of hotfixes per year on average and let's say $1500 per year for hotfixes only - but no technical support (other than that provided in forums and answers).