Augustin still believes in open source values

Augustin still believes in open source values

Summary: Businesses get the most protection from the GPL, he insisted. "They get protection from competition." The license's insistance on reciprocity means no one can take the code you wrote, tweak it, then compete with you.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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To get, first give.

It's among the oldest Internet values. But having gone through the dot boom, the dot bust, and beyond, VA Linux founder Larry Augustin says it's still the key to success.

I caught up with Augustin, who left his full-time role at VA in 2002 (he's still on the board) and now makes his living as a venture consultant and board member in the San Francisco Bay Area, between meetings and found his ideals are intact. Among the open source start-ups he works with are Hyperic, Xensource, SugarCRM, Fonality, and Medsphere.

In Augustin's view open source development became a necessity in the 1990s when the cost of marketing a program came to exceed the cost of creating it. "My favorite is Salesforce.com. In 1995 they spent under $10 million in R&D and over $100 million in sales and marketing. That doesn’t’ work.

"Open source enables people to reach all those customers. It’s a distribution model. The people who create great software can now reach the rest of the world."

Businesses get the most protection from the GPL, he insisted. "They get protection from competition." The license's insistance on reciprocity means no one can take the code you wrote, tweak it, then compete with you.

As to VA Linux, which went south after trying to make it in hardware, "There was a window where the world wanted a hardware supplier who could deliver high density rackmounts optimized and supporting Linux. When we went through the dot com crash the customers who wanted that went away." The world has changed since then, he added. "It’s incredibly tough right now to be a hardware supplier."

Perhaps his most interesting statements concerned the "threat" of competition from India and China. If they want traction in the software market they, too, need to give a little bit.

"I still don’t see many people from India and China contributing to open source. It’s when the people in those countries get into the process that you’ll see things. It’s not going to happen until you see the contribution level increase."

Topic: Open Source

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  • and Saddam still believes he is the ruler of Iraq

    Need I say more.
    zzz1234567890
  • what are the open source values

    1) its a disruptive business
    (we wont be able to compete on equal terms, so lets come up with a disruptive plan and see if it might get us some market share)

    2) all losers in proprietary software, go open source as a last attempt of survival.
    ( if I am going down, maybe cause a little pain to my competitor and cause them some sleepless nights)


    3) it dont matter if our quality isnt as good
    (there are always some sukers who are ignorant and we could always get them. Isnt this why most *nix fanboys cant read code yet say 'we need to see code'. Whats the point of seeing code if you cant understand. Not to mention the very author of the blog "Augustine believe in OSS values" cant read code himself. Isnt that incmopetence. Who would want to follow a blind man). Seems like open source values are 'we sure can make someone use our stuff and make money, even if its not upto standard, because the uers wont know'.
    zzz1234567890
  • Isnt Augustine the same guy

    who started VA Linux, hyped it up, made a millions (couple of hundred million) and then the company goes bankrupt.

    Are these the values that you are asking me to believe in.
    code_Warrior
  • Open Source in China

    This just ain't gonna happen in China for a long time. Right now, with at least 90% of all software in China pirated, there is little room even for the concept of open source.
    www.chinalawblog.com
    China Law Blog
  • the business model of open source

    " now makes his living as a venture consultant and board member in the San Francisco Bay Area"

    "In Augustin's view open source development became a necessity in the 1990s when the cost of marketing a program came to exceed the cost of creating it. "My favorite is Salesforce.com. In 1995 they spent under $10 million in R&D and over $100 million in sales and marketing. That doesn?t? work.

    Looks like he made is millions and retired. No more coding, he's a venture consultant. Open source business model is explained below. Just wondering if he is looking for another run of IPO for a company.




    OPEN SOURCE BUSINESS MODEL.

    LOOK FOR ANOTHER RUN OF THE DOT COM DOT BUST ERA. MAKE ANOTHER PITCH FOR A COMPANY, HAVE AN IPO, MAKE A COUPLE MORE HUNDRED MILLION AND WHEN IT FAILS COME UP WITH A STATEMENT LIKE


    "As to VA Linux, which went south after trying to make it in hardware, "There was a window where the world wanted a hardware supplier who could deliver high density rackmounts optimized and supporting Linux. When we went through the dot com crash the customers who wanted that went away."
    BrutalTruth