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Open Source Business Conference

Today is my first day back from vacation in Maui, Hawaii. It turns out that my vacation was good preparation for this conference. For the last week, I've been waking up early in the morning to sea kayak into the ocean and swim with 50 ton blue whales.

Here at OSBC I am swimming with the big whales of open source companies as well. The keynotes were presented by Matt Asay, founder of OSBC and open source business blogger. Matt mentioned that he and a few others have estimated that at least $2 000 000 000 has been invested in open source recently. In 2007, investors who invested in open source companies earned 2 billion back. That's good news for open source software development.

Here's the list:

  • MySQL 1 Billion purchased by Sun
  • Zimbra - 350 Million purchased by Yahoo
  • Xen Source - $500 Million purchased by Citrix
  • Troll Tech - $150 Million purchased by Nokia

For more details on other open source investments see Larry and Matt's analysis. There were 74 open source companies that received a series A funding between 2000 and 2006. Acquia was funded in 2007, and I haven't done the analysis on the 2007 deals yet to see where we fit.

Matt goes on to make two other critical points. Open Source is believed to produce higher quality software, and it's increasingly being used in mission critical situations.

What does this mean for marketing Drupal? It means we need to spend more time explaining the quality of Drupal's architecture and the quality of it's code base. Dries has a good start on comparing code base quality. Karoly has done a good job identifying that 5% of Drupal contributed modules are complex, they call module_invoke_all or module_implements. We need to explain this in terms that technically saavy folks can understand.

We've recently been putting effort into identifying showcase sites but it sounds like we've got one more category of showcase site to add: mission critical. If you've got a quantitative or qualitative metric for Drupal code quality let me know. If you know of a mission critical site using Drupal let me know and we can start a new Drupal site marketing category.


Posted on by moshe weitzman (not verified).

Tell me more about those blue whales.

I am guessing that Mission Critical wraps up three subcategories
* High Security
* High Reliability
* High Performance

In those categories I think you can list
* US Department of Defense (security).
* Popular Science (performance). Sony BMG artists

Posted on by Ryan (not verified).

As interesting as the body of the post is, I still can't get over the swimming with whales part. Please tell me you had a water proof camera and are about to grace us with some photos. : )