Feb 25 2008

Honest Open Source

While posting about my talk on MySQL Cluster and Drupal I realized something very important about Open Source and how it differs from proprietary software.

Looking at a traditional software and infrastructure consultancy shop you will see that they carry a broad range of products which they care about and which they are actively offerering to customers. For this products they have formal arrangements with suppliers that will both give them licenses, support but also incentives to sell those licenses.

So when a sales guy or a consultant arrives at a customer they are already biased to plug a certain product, and they will try to convince the customer that the product they are selling is the right fit. Even tough when it's a total Misfit.

With the Open Source consultant he won't be plugging a product, he will be listening to his customer and will use the right tool for the right project .. afterall there is no vendor pushing him to plugg a certain solution, there is no higher margin if he chooses the red box over the green box (as he isn't choosing boxes) The opensource guy will be open and explain to the customer why product X does not fit his needs and product Y does, he will give his customer some honest advise. He will help the customer to solve his problem, not create more.

I was pretty surprised yesterday that even the guys from MySQL were supportive when I stated that MySQL Cluster was not a fit for Drupal. I can't imagine people from Oracle or IBM agreeing on one of their product being a misfit for their customer ..