Episode 41: Open Source is Not a Business Model


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Have you ever had high expectations about a new software product? Did you think it was going to be spectacular? Instead, did it become less about solving a problem for you and more about reaching a bunch of billable consultants? The dynamics of open source communities and the Cloud platform can make or break software products.

Today, we’re talking to Andrew Clay Shafer, who was a notable voice during the days of OpenStack. He had high hopes for OpenStack, which was an effort to bring a democratized solution of Cloud computing to anyone’s data center. He describes the importance of understanding the challenges associated with open source projects in order for them to be successful.

Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Open source is not a business model; capture value for customers, or they’ll go with a different solution
  • Openness/Closure: Every open source project has its own community dynamics
  • Losing sight of level of expertise for profitability and easy path to useage
  • Whether to become a product or service company - difficult to be both effectively or go from being one to the other; build partner relationship, focus, and say “no”
  • Lack of awareness about AWS Outposts admitting public Cloud is no longer a viable business model
  • Amazon relentlessly focuses on what its customers want and tries to keep promises about what it can and can’t do
  • Cloud Native: Not where you run, but how you run; confining variables
  • Self-fulfilling prophecy to under deliver when you make the bad decision to under source IT across the board
  • Cloud Native, DevOps, SRE: Buzzwords that equal one thing and work together
  • Dilemma of not building everything and buying some things, but you can’t buy everything; humans like to shop and go with the easiest option



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