As the headline says, FORTUNE has named Great Bridge, which
sells commercial support and consulting for PostgresSQL, and
OpenCola, which recently released the filesharing software
SwarmCast under the GPL, as two of the 25 coolest US and Global
companies for 2001:
"Great Bridge is on a quixotic quest with its product:
an open-source database. The company hopes PostgreSQL can be as
successful as Linux, the open-source operating system that was
developed and is maintained by volunteers, and remains a pain in
Microsoft's side. To succeed, founder Frank Batten Jr. must woo
users from both Oracle's dominant industrial-strength database and
Microsoft's SQL Server, the top choice for more mundane information
storage. He is undaunted: "If you think of open source as a rising
flood, our goal is to bury most of the Oracle mountain. But the
reality is that the Microsoft foothills will get flooded first."
Great Bridge, of Norfolk, Va., doesn't actually sell PostgreSQL--it
helps the community of developers who build it and sells support
services for users. This is Batten's second anti-Gates foray: He
was the first investor in Linux champion Red Hat Software and
remains its largest individual shareholder."
"[OpenCola's] just-released Swarmcast software speeds up
document sharing. Say you want to download Destiny's Child's
"Bootylicious" (we're not advocating pirating music, of course).
Swarmcast's software creates a network of people downloading the
tune and splits the song into tiny nuggets. You receive the song,
superfast, as an amalgamation of bites from other "Bootylicious"
files being downloaded at the same time. The company has secured
$15.7 million in funding and is working with Microsoft's .NET
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