Brad Silverberg has been away from Microsoft for seven years.
But he still knows how to hit a straw man.
His straw man today is that "IP is dead" because of open source. He builds this straw man in a News.Com commentary published this morning.
Then, as he knocks down this straw man, a light suddenly appears in my head.
Brad Silverberg gets it.
Open source is forcing entrepreneurs and investors to think in new ways about a new set of problems. While it has taken away some of the low-hanging fruit, it's my belief that open source will help drive a focus on improved solutions for customers--particularly in underserved markets--and that unique intellectual property will play a critical role in fueling this new engine for innovation.
Open source is not an either-or proposition. Open source is a continuum, and new innovations can make money within that continuum.
Silverberg describes SourceLabs, in which his Ignition Partners holds a stake, which is working to make repairing software bugs easier through continuous support, which people gladly pay for. He describes another start-up he's backing in the systemmanagement space.
Silverberg understands that open source compresses the monopoly profits "intellectual property" became accustomed to during the 1990s. But he also understands that innovation remains valuable, and that it doesn't have to come in a box.
Welcome to the 21st century, Brad. Good to have you with us.