A blog for the enterprise open source community
Things I wrote down during OSBCMatthew Aslett, March 26, 2009 @ 9:14 am ET
There were plenty of clever and interesting things said during this week’s Open Source Business Conference. These are the things I felt compelled to write in my notebook, in chronological order. Some of them confirm things we already think about commercial open source, others were new ideas to me, or interesting ways of expressing old ideas:
“If we have a better product, and it happens to be open source, we’re going to win. But it has to be in that order”.
“The best business plans are disruptive at the market level, but not at the adoption level”.
In five years 100% of software will contain open source. (Michael Skok may have put these words in his mouth slightly, but the point stands).
“The downturn in exposing business models that were weak anyway”.
“Any software vendor that has a non-friction model gets under the radar from a budget standpoint [in the current climate]. Two or three years later they’ll be trying to harvest that deal”.
“The further up the stack you go the less need there is for the source code”.
“Open source research and development and distribution is an operational advantage”.
“Open source development communities are always a bit broken. Dysfunction is normal.”
“There is no open source business model.”
“Our biggest competitor is not Microoft, it’s not Novell, it’s people stopping paying us for support”.
“Most technology vendors wish they developed software not just to the same technical quality but the same process quality, as Linux”.
To create a successful open source project you need:
- a huge market
- a commodity market
- a large community
- a price cushion
- an implementation of an open standard (optional)
“Do not sell anything to your community. Do not even sell them support”.
“If everything goes to the cloud, five years from now, then copyleft is dead [unless you use the AGPL]“.
“If a company feels the need to hire a community manager then that is an admission of failure”.
“A community manager should enable the community and remove roadblocks to make sure the relationship [with the vendor] is as frictionless as possible. There is a role for that but community manager is not a good title for it [you can't manage the community].”
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