Mike Olson, the Chief Strategy Officer at Cloudera, eloquently articulated the philosophy behind their business model in this LinkedIn article titled The Cloudera Model. I highly recommend anyone working on open source platforms and building value on top to stop coding, and read this article. Like right now!
I would like to highlight one quote from the article:
You can no longer win with a closed-source platform, and you can’t build a successful stand-alone company purely on open source
Finally somebody said it!
For years, I have been convinced of this model. I have often wondered how pure open source companies actually make money and justify such large valuations without offering any kind of monetization other than offering training, support and development services on top of the open source projects. Some do it via dual-licensing model, as Mike points out in his example of how SleepyCat worked it before getting acquired by Oracle.
Now, I don’t know if this is the best model that Mike has articulated, but it is close to Winston Churchill’s idea of democracy where he said something along the lines of:
…it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
I feel the similarly about the Mike’s call, and I believe this is the best model of all the models out there currently to think of how you want to build a company and balance between open source and closed source to create unique value on top of open source. For most part, it seems that people agree with Mike’s article (based on LinkedIn comments and tweets). Those that don’t agree are in denial.
Use, contribute back, innovate (both open and closed) and create value – that sounds like a good viable business model.
[Cross-posted from JackBe blog]
While it is interesting to come up with your own predictions, I am more interested in seeing what other people I follow are predicting. First, to see if there are some synergies – perhaps if they too say what I said, it somehow validates my prediction, or so I feel anyway. And second, which is more important, is to learn from all the smart guys out there that are saying something significant about the technology space in 2013. I recently saw this blog post from Mike Gualtieri, another analyst/researcher that I like to follow, and lo and behold it is all about Big Data!
I liked one thing he says in particular, which I think others are also saying based on what I read in the last couple of days: “All data is Big Data”. In my prediction, I hinted that Big Data would get segmented along the now familiar dimensions of velocity, volume and variety – which is my way of saying “all data is Big Data,” but we have to deal with each segment in slightly different ways. In Mike’s predictions, another thing stands out in my mind. He says:
“Real-time architectures will swing to prominence. Firms that find predictive models in Big Data must put them to use. Firms will seek out streaming, event processing, and in-memory data technologies to provide real-time analytics and run predictive models. Mobile is a key driver, because hyperconnected consumers and employees will require architectures that can quickly process incoming data from all digital channels to make business decisions and deliver engaging customer experiences in real time. The result: In 2013, enterprise architects will step out of their ivory towers to once again focus on technology — real-time technology that is highly available, scalable, and performant.”
Hurray! Big Data coupled with two things: Real-time and Mobile. Now, that’s something else! This area is ripe for innovation and disruption. We ourselves at JackBe have been long focused on real-time aspects of dealing with data, be it for Real-Time BI or for Mobile BI. We believe that data can be mashed up in real-time and served on a platter to business users in the form of insights, delivered to them as Apps Anywhere™. And as Big Data enters into the equation, most people are quick to realize that technologies like Hadoop (most prominent among Big Data discussions as of now) are not real-time at all and definitely need some augmentation. Business moves fast and needs insights fast. You can’t wait till all the data is collected and all the batches are run to get your insights. You can’t wait until your data warehouses (big or small) are built to get decisions made to move your business. You need real-time answers to fast changing data in your environment.
What do you think? How are you reacting to the three forces of Big Data, Mobile and Real-Time?