NewsForge: Progeny Has a New Business Plan and a New CEO
Oct 28, 2002, 15:17 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Robin Miller)
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Progeny is a unique Linux company in a number of ways. First, it
is the only one founded by the former head of a major non-profit
Linux distribution. Second, it is one of few that is making money.
Third, it has thrown off the "distribution" sales model entirely
and is moving in an interesting technical and marketing direction.
Fourth, it has a new CEO, although founder Ian Murdock, who also
founded the Debian project, is still Board Chairman and CTO.
Progeny started out distributing a "wrapper" for Debian. The
company's first product was a packaged Linux distribution that had
Debian's stability with a user-friendly GUI installer and GUI admin
tools added. It was easy to install (although hardware detection
was not as polished as Mandrake's or some other distributions') and
ran well. But as a product in the marketplace it flopped, in the
sense that it didn't make any money.
Free is great, but even a world-class free software advocate
like Ian Murdock needs to eat and pay bills, and his coworkers
appreciate regular paychecks, so Progeny changed its business model
and moved into consulting services, and from there the company has
edged into the concept of "Linux as a platform, not as a