Rolling up Open Source Companies

So another Om Malik entry that finally forces me to speak up.

This time its on several companies, particularly Oracle, buying up or putting big investments in Open Source companies.

http://gigaom.com/2006/02/14/open-source-apps-the-nu-cool/

I should probably learn not to lead with links sending people away but what the heck.

The question this begs for me is are they doing this to some how co-op what these open source projects are up to?  Do they hope to buy and waylay them?  It does not seem that this will work.  The project is still out there with all its source code.  The founders of the open source modeled companies will probably be encouraged to jump back out there and do it again and resell for more than they are worth.   And then more people will show up with their hands out.  Hey wait a second maybe I should start an open source service company supporting the new open source router.  Anyone want to join me?  Anyone with appropriate services selling or relevant experience can have 2% of the company. 

So if its not to sidetrack potenitally damaging competitors are Oracle or SAP just doing it for insurance?  Somehow buying into a services company that is wrecking your business model does not seem like much insurance.  Sure I guess you have a piece of the new evolving market but if you were making a few hundred million spinning CDs and living on the fat and now you own a piece of what replaced it, with a few tens of millions I can’t imagine that even takes the sting out. 

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2 responses to “Rolling up Open Source Companies

  1. I don’t follow how Sleepcat Software is a ‘services company’. Actually, they have a product that Oracle doesn’t have right now. Or at least
    doesn’t have a good implementation of, ie embedded databases. Oracle
    Lite is really regular Oracle with stuff torn off. Its only lightweight compared to its bloated cousin.

  2. You caught me, I am not up on Sleepycats biz model. I guess I was more commenting on the overall general trend as it appears to me. They are a products company built on opensource software or are do they simply publish their source?

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