Red Hat and Acquia thrive on complexity
Drupal is a fantastic Web publishing platform that derives much of its value from a disparate community of contributors, as Xconomy recently wrote. With more than 4,000 contributed modules from over 3,000 active contributors (741 of which contribute to Drupal Core), Drupal has something for everyone, which is both its greatest asset and biggest liability.
Choice is good. Too much choice, however, can be bad.
The same holds true for Red Hat, which charges a premium for its Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution to enterprises that want to tap into Linux but don't want the bother of rolling their own version of Linux from Kernel.org.
The problem, however, is that such a business model depends upon the complexity of the underlying platform. If that complexity goes away, does the business model?
The Drupal-focused company Acquia is thriving because deploying Drupal, what with its myriad of choices, can be complex. Ditto for Red Hat. There are thousands of packages that comprise Linux, making it worthwhile to pay a trusted guide like Red Hat.