Marc Fleury recently did a brokers' tour of New York on behalf of Red Hat, which bought his company, JBOSS, early this year.
He offered some great insights. Fleury had to summarize the new Red Hat in 40 minute slots, which he called "a learning experience."
This is a little like Eliza Doolittle calling the torture Prof. Henry Higgins put her through in My Fair Lady "a learning experience." ("I'll bet I can turn any old programmer into a CEO!")
Fleury came away with a good, tight description of the open source business model. Lower customer acquisition costs, difficult to monetize, more spent on support, satisfied customers.
And what was the response of the street to this story? They wanted to know about Oracle. So Fleury proceeded to talk about Oracle, at length, a bit like Miss Doolittle swerving into Cockney at the races. It makes perfect sense to those who understand open source (the equivalent of Cockney slang in this instance) but less to those who only speak Wall Street English.
All of which leads to The 451 Group going all snarky -- "check out Ubuntu" if you want to know about making another Linux distro successful. As if Oracle could replicate that, or hijack it, as if that explained why Fleury isn't "our kind of people."
That's not the point, he responded. Fleury says a "Nash Equillibrium" has taken hold in the Linux OS space -- “nobody move and nobody gets hurt." Which I think is the programmer's way of tipping his titfer to critics. As in tit for tat. Cockney for hat.
The CEO elocution lessons are fine, but I hope Marc Fleury never forgets where he came from, and his original programmers' accent. Makes me want to break into song:
All I want is a cube somewhere, far away from the Wall Street glare, to make my code look fair, oh wouldn't it be loverly?
Lots of Snickers for me to eat, lots of coffee and lots of tea, with checks made out to me, oh wouldn't it be loverly.
I could give you all support you want and still be free, see my .org and write to me -- just gimme ya real name.
Working programs I'll give you free, fine and bug-free as they can be. Just keep your EULA off me, oh wouldn't it be loverly! Loverly. Loverly. Loverly. Wouldn't it be loverly...