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Trademarks - The dinosaur in the room

Sep 16, 2009, 14:04 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Richard Hillesley)


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"But it was Bob Young who transformed Red Hat into a brand. For the first months and years Young worked "in my wife's sewing closet in Connecticut, and Marc in a spare room in his apartment in Durham (North Carolina)." Ewing built the software, and Young distributed the brand, giving away CDs and selling hats and t-shirts, and within six years of its first release the company went public with a valuation upwards of 5 billion dollars - which wasn't bad for a company whose sole purpose was to make and sell free software. Bob Young, incidentally, has three versions of 'The Hat' story and a video of him telling all three is available on the Red Hat website.

"According to Jon 'maddog' Hall "By the time people recognised what (Young) was doing it was too late. He had built the Red Hat brand to the point where a lot of people in the US would say 'Red Hat is Linux, and Linux is Red Hat'. Like Kleenex and tissues, and Heinz and ketchup, Red Hat had become a generic term. Bob Young did an amazing job... He would say, 'Hey, give away the software, and sell the t-shirts and hats' but what he really meant was: 'Give away the software, and sell the services.'""

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