Open source is not a vertical

Open source consultants either don't think the market is big enough to specialize, or think open source itself is a specialty. It's not. Any more than Microsoft is a specialty.

Mark Taylor, Open Source Consortium and Sirius IT president
The UK row over handing control of the country's open source education planning to an education expert, rather than an open source expert, shows the continuing immaturity of open source as a business sector.

This should have been anticipated. The contract was awarded by an outfit called Becta, a charitable government advisor known as a quango, which the winning partners have worked with often.

Open source advocates bid for the project separately, thinking that would provide competition. Had their combined weight still lost they might have had cause for complaint.

This didn't stop them from complaining anyway.

"Becta's open-source posturing is exposed as a sham, empty spin covering 'business as usual' political sleaze," wrote Mark Taylor (above),  president of the Open Source Consortium.

Well, he's also the president of Sirius, one of the losing bidders. (When he got angry, it's strange the Inquirer didn't make some sort of pun on Sirius feeling black.)

One of the first things Microsoft re-sellers learn, if they want to grow, is it's no good just hanging a Microsoft sign on your front door. You need to specialize. You need to know an industry, a vertical, you need to have an angle.

Open source consultants either don't think the market is big enough to specialize, or think open source itself is a specialty. It's not. Any more than Microsoft is a specialty.

Seeing open source as a specialty is looking at the customer's needs through your own eyes, blind to the needs of the one paying the bills. Which is a great way to get blindsided and wind up crying foul over something that's really quite fair.

To get the order, know the customer. This is true for open source customers as for those using any technology.

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