Wednesday, March 17, 2004

My thoughts on the open source investor roundtable

This group of venture capitalists seem to be largely interested in investing in commercial software -- gee, if you can use open source as a leverage point against a larger commercial competitor to get distribution scale or infrastructure -- great. But there is no open source business model. Proprietary software advantage is what will succeed.

This is quite a contrast to Ray Lane's presentation of the watershed that the software industry is confronting, or the comments that Clay Christensen reportedly made yesterday (I wasn't here) about how open source transforms the way we think about the software product -- instead of a core piece of software wrapped in service, documentation, etc -- the wrapping becomes the product.

So are the VCs wrong and stuck in the past? Or are they the pragmatic ones and the idea that open source can change the software industry is polyannish at best?

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