Isn’t it fun when the mainstream press figures out what you have been up to for all these years? The New York Times carried an article today about the “elusive” business model of open source software, focusing on acquisitions like Oracle/Sun/MySQL. The NYT piece in turn prompted this blog post saying that open source is “dead” as a business model.
Just for the record, getting acquired is not a failed business model, nor is it a dead one. Maybe I’ve been in Silicon Valley too long, but getting bought for valuations in excess of those justified by revenue or profit is what we call success out here in the Wild West. In fact, producing a high-quality, low-price alternative to an existing product, and being bought by the existing product’s owner, is an old and proven game. It doesn’t matter whether the alternative is open source software or just a better mousetrap.
Anyway, I love any prediction that open source is dead. The last time someone said that to me, it was 2002.