01.25.21

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The Linux Foundation, With Over 124 Million Dollars in Annual Revenue, is in Trouble Because of the Pandemic, So It’s Trying to Reinvent Itself as Training and Certifications Outfit

Posted in Finance, Marketing at 2:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Sometimes leveraging ethnic minorities for marketing

Linux Foundation $124,492,699 in revenue

Summary: With mountains of cash and a Public Relations (PR) or marketing business model the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation became reliant on travel, lodging, booths and speeches on sale; COVID-19 is a great risk to that business model

THE Linux Foundation operated at a loss in 2018 because it had been paying out outrageous salaries, exceeding what revenue permitted. The revenue was nearly $100 million at the time and as the screenshot above shows it grew to $124,492,699 in revenue the following year (IRS filing not easy to fetch yet).

Back when we studied the latest available filing we saw this:

Linux Foundation conferences

Here’s the bit about overspending to the point of being cashflow negative 2 years ago:

Linux Foundation losses

Aside from corporate bribes (even from the likes of Microsoft), the Foundation raises a lot of money from the marketing activities, which include events. But COVID-19 has pretty much grounded all that activity, which means that some people at the Foundation no longer have a job (or barely have anything to do, except maybe sign up for some Zoom account). This is really hurting the Foundation, which is why it’s turning Linux.com into a marketing/spam site of its training/certifications business. Yes, business. It was never really a non-profit…

“Given that this is the sort of thing that the Foundation increasingly does (running Windows sites and using “Macs” for reports about Linux), it would not be too devastating to lose the Foundation, only to see it replaced by something (hopefully) better.”It seems possible that many inside the Foundation will need to take a considerable paycut for 2020. The Foundation still has a mountain of money in the bank, but it cannot carry on losing money forever.

For those who haven’t paid enough attention, the Foundation does not really support Linux. It supports surveillance and openwashing; it supports whatever agenda corporations pay it to promote, even proprietary software. Yesterday Phoronix said that the Foundation has a new “mentorship” programme. If you try to apply for this mentorship you are asked to log in with one of: 1) Microsoft (GitHub) 2) Microsoft (LinkedIn) 3) Google 4) Facebook. Given that this is the sort of thing that the Foundation increasingly does (running Windows sites and using "Macs" for reports about Linux), it would not be too devastating to lose the Foundation, only to see it replaced by something (hopefully) better.

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