At Open Source Business Conference 2013, conversations on innovation, disruption, and open source leadership dominated the sessions. The conference chair, Matt Assay, crafted a program where each presentation and conversation reinforced how traditional business strategies are being disrupted by new market dynamics. The dynamics are shifting power away from closed, proprietary corporate leadership towards open collaboration and user-led innovation. The shift is disrupting traditional business strategies, IT operation practices, and market dominance.
Open Source startups (e.g. HortonWorks, 10gen, Appcelerator, GitHub, Netflix, SUSE, and WSO2) are leading their respective technology domains by encouraging open collaboration, micro-iterations, and user-led innovation.
I wonder why more open source users do not actively participate in the open source community and become committers or contributors. My open source participation led to a cost efficient and adaptable infrastructure for my company, and useful trade experience skills on my resume. My open source contributions established a professional network of mentors and improved my understanding of the project. Becoming an open source committer enhanced by personal brand, increased business opportunities, and filled important open source project gaps.
Interacting with open source community committers and recommending source code hacks is a valuable experience. During 2001-2003, I had the opportunity to interact with many hard-core, professional open source luminaries (e.g. Sam Ruby, James Snell, Glenn Daniels, Dims, Steve Loughran, and Sanjiva Weerawarana) across multiple organizations while participating in the Apache Axis project. I watched the distributed Axis team advance the project via IRC, code check-ins, and mailing list interactions. After understanding the project’s capabilities and roadmap (by writing many sample code service clients and providers), I gained the knowledge to start directly hacking the source code and contributing useful extensions. My everlasting thanks to Glenn Daniels for nominating me to be a committer! The open source community and committer experience established my open source street creds, raised my personal brand, led to presenting from the OSCON stage (and others), and helped build my consulting business.
When you evaluate infrastructure vendors, do you correlate their agility and innovation with release velocity?
The technorati and press are touting Apigee’s recent announcement, which declares a free API management offering. The Apigee announcement does offer significant end-user value, unless you want to run the API management infrastructure on-premise, or reach critical business mass.
WSO2 Carbon application platform is built on a solid Apache Open Source Foundation. Apache Open Source delivers innovative components and an extensive ecosystem of developers, educational resources, and committers. Apache projects often surpass proprietary platform vendor offerings, and lead Apache project sponsors (e.g. Google, Twitter, Yahoo, Huawei, AMD) run their Internet scale business on open source project code.
When development teams adopt Apache open source projects, the teams undertake a challenging platform development task list:
- Integrate Apache projects into the application platform
- Synchronize project dependencies and versions
- Maintain build repository and configuration scripts
- Patch project codebase to fix defects
- Upgrade projects and obtain new features
I have recently met a few individuals who do not ascribe positive value to open source. I had thought the open software versus closed software argument was decided circa 2005. Unfortunately, a few renegade individuals are holding out, and believe in the goodness of autocratic companies who operate without transparency. It took me awhile to dig into the bias and understand the root concern; an organizational need for competent technical support, high usability, and a viable roadmap. Corporate sponsored open source solves these concerns.