Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies?
Jun 11, 2010, 12:49 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)
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"His answer was a good one. He said that he did think that Red
Hat could get to $5 billion in due course, but that this entailed
'replacing $50 billion of revenue' currently enjoyed by other
computer companies. What he meant was that to attain that $5
billion of revenue Red Hat would have to displace software that
currently costs $50 billion. Selling $50 billion-worth of software
– even if it only costs $5 billion – is somewhat hard,
which is why it will take a while to achieve.
"I think this is the first time I've heard someone as senior as
Whitehurst admit something rather profound: that open source
solutions save money for customers by doing away with the fat
margins for existing computer companies – and thus shrink the
overall market. Opponents of open source like to paint this as
"value destruction" that takes money 'out of the economy' - as if
free software went around burning down offices and warehouses."