Conversations With My Dad About Open Source

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OSS

My father was one of those old school guys when it came to adopting computer technology. During the early years of the Internet, it took him a while to get his mind around the business model.

By 1999, he had jumped online for stock trading. He called me one day and said “Know anything about this company Red Hat? They went public with a $3 billion market cap and near as I can tell, their software is free. Am I missing something? How is that a sustainable business? Or should I short Microsoft stock?”

I thought of my dad while attending this year’s Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) because about the time he passed away four years ago, I was just starting to do public relations work for open source companies. He did not live long enough to see the truly deep implications of open source. But I have no doubt that, as a savvy businessman, he would have figured it out.

Or would he?