Open source still fragmented

Who are the leaders? I have no idea. The game has just started. Who do you think the leaders are?

Evans Data has a new report out saying the open source market remains fragmented.

The whole premise of the study shows just how little most analysts know about open source as a concept.

The whole idea behind open source is to break down hierarchies. If you're really good, if you gain a key position within a project that is gaining market traction, you can now not only get work, but become a company in your own right.

This is something that is just starting to dawn on many open source developers. A few years ago they were happy to just have jobs. Now they're looking to get really good jobs. (This was the JBoss business strategy from the start -- grab stars by offering big salaries.)

But the next step is not consolidation. I think it's atomization.

Software development, like anything else, lives by the 80-20 rule. The top people dominate. This means these top people are worth a whole lot more than others on the open market. This is something that is just now starting to dawn on people.

All this is sort of clear after looking at how Evans came to its conclusions, and its specific results. The company surveyed 400 developers and asked who does the best job. This yielded the names Red Hat, IBM, Novell and Sun. Those aren't really the leaders. They're the guys who put out the most press releases.

Who are the leaders? I have no idea. The game has just started. Who do you think the leaders are?

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