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If You Open Source An Old Market, Are You Doomed to Fail?

January 8, 2011 No Comments

Open…and Shut A few years back, a host of open-source businesses raised hundreds of millions of dollars on the promise that they would commoditize old, dying markets, and make a bundle of money in the process. Missing from this thesis, however, was its logical conclusion: winning in a fading market is tantamount to losing, as the commoditizing vendor goes down with the sinking ship.

Back in the day, one easy way to earn venture-capital investment was to find an established market and set up shop as the “open-source alternative to [name your big, proprietary vendor].” Open-source companies cropped up to take on middleware, operating system, database, and enterprise application incumbents, and they were liberally funded.

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