Building A Scorecard

In my previous posts, I've drawn an analogy between open source software and organic food, hinting that in both cases the rush to create a working brand lost some of the essence of the vision. I've suggested that having businesses identify "open source" purely on the basis of one "input" - using an OSI-approved license - is no longer adequate, because the success of the open source approach has led so many different companies to want to exploit the name.

Open Source Education: Professors’ Open Source Camp in Singapore


Professors' Open Source Summer Experience (POSSE), a training bootcamp targeted for faculty members of technical universities in Asia is being organized from November 9-13, 2009 at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore. Faculty members from Singapore, Malaysia, China, India are expected to participate.

The first camp was held in Raleigh, North Carolina earlier this year in July.

Sun Tzu and the London Stock Exchange

I read Sun Tzu's The Art of War more than 10 years ago, and there is one bit of advice that I still use daily in my business dealings. It can be paraphrased as "when attacking an entrenched competitor, you need four times the force. Ten times the force is better." Thus, when Red Hat was building its enterprise business, I made sure that our sales people were focused on customers who could immediately measure 2x the performance at 1/2 the cost (yielding a 4x performance/cost advantage), although 10x performance/cost was more advantageous. It seems that Sun Tzu's math has been understood by the London Stock Exchange, who are seeing a more than 6x improvement in the all-important measure of latency, whilst gaining an impressive 2x cost advantage. No wonder they are switching from a proprietary platform to one based on open source software!

Truth In Labelling - Learning From "Organic"

When I wrote about Organic Software recently, I was largely eulogising the community dimension of open source software. But there's another way in which the idea of "organic software" is helpful to understanding the dynamic in free and open source software. Here are the comments I have been making at Open World Forum here in Paris.

By The People...

Of the people, for the people, by the people. These three ideals were framed in the Constitution adopted in 1789, but according to 21st-century Pamphleteer Carl Malamud, the actual history of America shows that they were adopted in three distinct phases spanning three centuries in time. Malamud explains all at the O'Reilly Gov 2.0 Summit in the 2nd day keynote, and in work he shares with CC0, "no rights reserved"...

Patent Trolls in the 21st Century

Moore's Law has been a powerful enabler of innovation because every 36-48 months you get twice the CPU cycles at half the price. In 8-12 years, Moore's law delivers 10x the performance at 1/10th the price, making the seemingly impossible relative cheap, if not free. Consequently, venture capitalists-even after the Internet bubble and the financial meltdown-largely prefer to invest in technology-driven companies in preference to almost anything else. Moore's Law simply opens up so many new business frontiers.

Except for one small problem...Patent Trolls, aka non-practicing entities.

Cartoon showing Microsoft colluding with patent trolls

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