Sep 24 2008

Systems management, what will happen when the VCs want their money ?

Tarus is happy not to have VC's on his back. He doesn't want to be responsible for turning a 15 Milj investment into a 150 Milj cashout. Others chose to go that way.

Back when he wrote the article the chances were small that he already knew that Qlusters was going to be shut down with still sooo much money in the bank, but the VC's wanted it back.

So how do open source companies plan on making those tenfold roi reality.
Apart from selling out to a bigger company I think thats a very difficult task.
Especially when you keep in mind how to manage both the Open Source community and your customers. The figures he mentions that VC's require surely start pushing vendors into violating Fabrizio Capobianco rules.

Now the story changes when indeed you cn go to a model where you are selling a large scalable service to your customers, even with microsized payments it becomes a possibility, but that's a totally different business model from what e.g. the Open source systems management shops are doing .

So will the Zenoss, Hyperics or the Groundworks of this world survive the demands of their VC

Luckily these projects are Open Source, so when the company dissapears, the project can continue, and grow even better. Like openQRM did

Aug 19 2008

Getting Rich Fast ?

Lukas Kahwe Smith has an awesome post titled "Open Source is not making enough rich people richer" .
Indeed, there is much talk that the VC's , the Investors and different others aren't seeing the big money fast enough, according to them that is.
Does that mean that the open source industry is going bad ? Does that mean you can't make a living when working in the Open Source industry ?

Absolutely not, as he points out there are uncountable people gaining a good living with Open Source, developers working on the different projects as their day job, system administrators managing open source platforms. We are helping out customers to implement Open Source and Free Software. And there are numerous other Drupal, Mysql, Xen, shops out there. Some have their own open source products and create a business on top of that , others are supporting popular platforms locally.

Lots of other companies are innovating on top of Open Source, they are using the LAMP stack or just Linux as an OS to build their products on they need the stability and the features an Open Source stack provides them with and only in this way they can deliver their customers with a stable and cost effective platform. Lots of these companies contribute back to the open source community (sadly some don't ..yet) .

But at the end of the day there is much more money involved in the Opensource world than the money the Open Source product vendors like RedHat, Alfresco, Zimbra, Zenoss and are getting from selling their products.

And that's what counts !!

Jul 31 2008

GroundWork heading the same path as Qlusters ?

In this article the ScienceLogic blogs wonders.

Here’s an interview with David Lily, founder and CEO. Hmm. What happened to CEO Ranga Rangachari? As far as I can tell, he disappeared somewhere between Nov 2007 and Jan 2008. No announcement that I could find… Wonder how things are going for GroundWork? Are they about to follow QLusters and drop the “Open Source” part of their name that they tacked on a couple years back?

Then followed up with the article on Qlusters closing shop where they identify different reasons for an Open Source systems management shop to close

What are the signs that a systems management company is going out of business?

a) they abandon their open source project, which was supposedly tied to their commercially supported version

b) they switch CEOs very very quietly

c) they are an “open source” company trying to actually make money (via paying customers, not VC)

d) all of the above

I've read rumours about GroundWorks management leaving before, but are they really heading the same direction ?

Now while we are on the crazy similarities subject ...

Remember Caldera ? Who bought SCO, after which it rebranded to SCO ?
Didn't have a nice ending didn't it ? So can you come up with another example of such a TakeOver and Rebrand scenario ?