Tuesday, March 25, 2008

OSBC Keynote Notes

I'm sitting at the opening session of the Open Source Business Conference. A few of my favorite moments...updated in real time...

Matt Asay continues his open source evangelism with a term I haven't heard him use before (or at least don't remember). He describes a Market of Abundance - contrary to traditional markets (of scarcity), digitization of goods means that these goods are now infinitely available for virtually zero cost. Therefore, the value is no longer in these goods; it's in what you add to them. It's about sharing and adoption, and adding collaborative value over time.

Matt also cited a very cool statistic. About a year ago, he , Robin Vasan, and Larry Augustin did some "math," and determined that industry had invested about $2 billion in open source. Well, in 2008, open source company exits totaled about that same amount. So $2B in, $2B out..."now it gets interesting."

Jim Whitehurst, the new CEO of Red Hat, continued this theme. He explained that, since the "bits" (source code) are all open source, it "keeps us on our toes," ensuring the focus is on delighting customers. And the way to add value is way beyond "iteration of the bits." Some

Raven Zachary asked Jim Whitehurst about consolidation and the role of Red Hat moving forward. After a caveat that he's only been in the job 90 days, Jim stated that Red Hat will "narrow its [acquisition] aperture, to "enterprise infrastructure software," but will be aggressive on that front.

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