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How I would sell OpenBSD as a salesperson

Written by Solène, on 22 June 2022.
Tags: #openbsd #opensource #business

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1. Introduction §

Let's have fun today. I always wondered how I would sell OpenBSD licences to customers if I was a salesperson.

This text is pure fiction and fun. The OpenBSD project is free of charge and under a libre software licence.

Website of The OpenBSD Project

2. Killer features §

When selling a product, it's always important to talk about the killer features, what makes a product a good one and why it would solve the customer problems.

2.1. Learn once §

If you were to use OpenBSD, you certainly would have a slight learning curve, but then the system is so stable over time that the acquired knowledge would be reused from release to release. Most base tools in OpenBSD are evolving while keeping compatibility with regard to how you administrate them.

Can we say so for the Linux ecosystem which changes its sound and init system every 5 years? Can we say so for Windows which revisites most of its interface at every new release?

Learning OpenBSD is a good investment that will save you time later, so you can use your computer without frustration.

3. Secure by default §

OpenBSD comes with strong security defaults, you don't have to tweak anything, the development did it for you! You can confidently use your OpenBSD computer, and you will be safe from all the bad actors targetting mainstream systems.

Even more, OpenBSD takes care of your privacy and doesn't run any telemetry, doesn't record what you type, doesn't upload any data. The team took care of disabling microphone and webcam by faking their input stream with empty data until you explicitely allow one or the other to record audio/video.

3.1. Community driven §

Because you certainly don't want to suffer from big IT actors decisions affecting your favorite OS, OpenBSD is community driven and take care of not being infecting by big tech agendas. The system is made for the developers, by the developers, and you can use it as a customer! Doesn't this feel great to know the authors use their own software?

3.2. No obsolescence / eco-friendly §

Rest assured that your brand-new computer will still be able to run OpenBSD in 20 years. The team is taking a special care of keeping compatibility for older hardware until it's too hard to find spare components. It's almost a lifetime of system upgrades for your hardware! Are the competitors still supporting Sparc64 and 32-bit PowerPC for a modern computer experience? I don't think so! The installer is still available for floppy disk, I think this says it all!

3.3. Very low maintenance §

As OpenBSD is designed to be highly resilient and so simple that it can't break, be sure you won't waste time fixing problems on your system. With a FREE major update every six months and regular security updates, your system keeps being bulletproof with no more maintenance from you than running the update; more experienced users can even automate this using the built-in and free of charge task scheduler.

3.4. Licencing §

OpenBSD is perfect for people who want to become rich! Think about this, you love your OpenBSD system, and you want to make a product out of it? Perfect! The licencing allows you to make changes to OpenBSD, redistribute it, charge people for it, and you don't even have to show a single line of your product source code to your customers. This is a perfect licencing for people who would like to build proprietary devices based on OpenBSD, a rock solid system.

Against all industry standards, in case you would improve your OpenBSD, you are allowed to make changes to it without losing the warrantly coming with the licensing.

3.5. Technical support §

If you ever need help, you will have direct access for free to the mailing lists of the project, allowing you to exchange directly with the people developping OpenBSD.

3.6. Documentation §

Don't be afraid to jump into OpenBSD from another operating system, we took care of documenting everything you will need. We are very proud of our documentation, and you can even use your OpenBSD system without Internet connectivity and still being able to read the top-notch documentation to configure your system to your needs. No more need to use a search engine to find old blog posts with outdated and inaccurate advice.

3.7. Fast to install §

You can install OpenBSD very fast by just answering to a few questions about the setup. However, you should never need to install OpenBSD more than once so most people will never notice about it. Experimented users can even automate installation to spread OpenBSD to their family without effort.

4. Behind the scenes §

Of course, as a good salesperson, I would have to avoid some topics because this would make the customer lose interest into OpenBSD. However, they could be turned as a positive fact:

  • OpenBSD doesn't support Bluetooth, but you can see this as a security feature. The code was entirely removed from the kernel because Bluetooth is full of traps and could easily leak data over the air. You certainly don't want that?
  • You may think OpenBSD slow performance could hit your productivity, but on the contrary it's a feature that will prevent you from losing focus on what you are currently working on. Think about the Tortoise and the Hare!
  • Maybe your favorite software is proprietary and will not be provided for OpenBSD, then your provider is entirely at fault because they don't want to make their software compliant with OpenBSD strong quality requirements to provide a working binary
  • You may have heard some hardware won't run on OpenBSD, this can happen for very niche hardware. The OpenBSD team is working hard to give you the best experience on a selection of affordable hardware with premium support.

5. Conclusion §

I hope you understood this was a fiction; OpenBSD is free and anyone can use it. It has strength and weaknesses, as always it's important to use the right tool for the right job. The team would be happy to receive contributions from you if you want to improve OpenBSD, by doing so you could help me improve my speech as a saleperson.

"Take my money" meme