I’m interested in how this topic plays out with Logseq. I really appreciate what Logseq is so far and would like to see it continue. For both of those reasons I donated a bit, hoping that would help things proceed in a good way and to indicate that people are indeed willing to pay for something that is free and open source software (FOSS).
Had it been the case that Logseq was not licensed under a FOSS licence, I would never have supported it. And here I’d like to note especially that I use the term “free” in its FOSS (in this case AGPL) context to mean liberty, not cost.
As for business models, since FOSS is about ethical or pragmatic issues in software development and usage, it itself is not a business model. Yet many different business models are built around FOSS so I think there are a number of good possible paths that Logseq might take.
In a former career, I did a fair amount of research into commercial software businesses built around free and open source software. Most of what I looked at (and the businesses I interviewed) was enterprise software and they generally made their money by providing support services and consulting services (sometimes customizations). While that’s still common, things have evolved and I think Logseq has a lot of consumer appeal, which would probably require other sorts of things to make sense in a commercial context.
Ongoing service subscriptions, like for hosting or publishing are appealing options. Selling additional features is another route (someone here mentioned StandardNotes, which does something like that). There could be interesting things to do with other companies. For example, suppose a business or educational institution wanted to incorporate Logseq into its internal processes for employees to use, then perhaps they could pay for some kind of integration functionality (e.g. with MS SharePoint/OneDrive, whatever) or single sign-on service with their other systems. Some companies providing FOSS, release the code a bit later after each initial update as a way of encouraging people to buy a subscription. There are dual licensing models that some companies use, FOSS for certain groups of customers but something else for others… though that kind of thing would require Logseq to use a different licence than the current one.
Obsidian has been mentioned in this discussion thread (they’re doing some of the things mentioned) but their choices don’t make sense with how they provide the software or their stated commitments to users. Err, that’s to say, the commercial services they provide seem like good, valuable ideas, however Obsidian’s software is proprietary, not FOSS. They don’t charge for the software (though they do for commercial use, which might be part of why they keep it proprietary but there are other ways they could work around that). Mostly, they don’t really benefit from keeping the software proprietary. At the same time, they lose any benefits that they could possibly get from making it FOSS (e.g. community help or paying customers, like myself… people that don’t care about FOSS will pay regardless).
That’s to say, the Obsidian business model has some good features to it, which Logseq could probably replicate but making the software proprietary is not one of them. It’s unnecessary and would prevent someone like me from paying for (or using) it.