Is Second Place Good Enough In Open Source?
In our “winner take all” society, The VAR Guy is starting to wonder: Can open source companies like Concursive, Compiere and EnterpriseDB ever escape from the shadows of their larger and more successful rivals (SugarCRM and MySQL)? Before you answer, consider these lessons.
First, let’s look beyond the open source market and zero in on the search industry.
Yahoo generated $1.8 billion in revenue during its first quarter, yet the press and Wall Street widely consider Yahoo a modern day failure because of its second-place status to Google.
Before we all bury Yahoo, shouldn’t we give the company a little credit? Anybody else remember Lycos, Altavista and all the other non-relevant search engines that went by the wayside? Yahoo’s still in the game… though many folks forget that.
Open to Alternatives?
Now let’s shift gears to the open source sector.
First up, consider the situation at Concursive (formerly Centric CRM). Intel Capital seems to like the open source application provider, and has pumped money into the company. And Concursive claims to have several Fortune 500 customers.
Another open source ERP and CRM company, Compiere, claims to have the world’s most widely used open source automation solutions. In fact, Compiere has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times.
Sweet. But apparently, not as sweet as the situation over at SugarCRM. Bloggers and journalists (The VAR Guy included…) seem to fall over each other, as they position SugarCRM has the open source industry’s best hope for a successful IPO (initial public offering).
Or will MySQL remain the open source industry’s database darling?
Let’s face it: Finishing second place can be pretty darn good to your wallet (just ask David Archuleta). But in the corporate world (and the software industry), the press continues to insist that finishing second sucks.