Monday, October 13, 2008

Is Open Source is a Ghetto?

I'm asked this question a lot lately, is Enomaly an "open source" company? My answer is always no. We're a Cloud Computing or Infrastructure software company. Just because we use an open source license don't make us an "open source" company. We also offer non-open source software components along side our AGPL Enomaly ECP. But to say our choice in a software license directly characterizes our company would be incorrect. Further more, do traditional software companies call themselves "proprietary software" companies? No, they focus on the needs and markets they serve, the license is secondary to the problems their software solves and or the value it provides its users.

When we first started Enomaly 5 years ago, the market was different. Open source was an emerging segment with lots of opportunities. But sadly, the open source elite, have done a terrible job at marketing the open source movement beyond that of a bargain basement or lower cost alternative to existing paid software. Over the last year it has become clear to me that the open source business movement is a ghetto.

One of the main reasons I've been reluctant to continue to associate myself and my company with the open source mantra is that for the most part, open source companies have focused on taking the leftover the bigger established software companies have not bothered to go after. Except for a few exceptions, the vast majority of open source companies have not focused on creating new industries, they typically focus on disrupting existing "proven" ones. Don't get me wrong, it's a lot easier to say, "our software is just like theirs", except open source.

But we have much greater ambitions.

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