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The New Kingmakers


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  • Nice work Stephen, and congrats on the book. I'm still wondering though about your thoughts on the Open Source Community Software development method, and the rise of the new kingmakers.

    What makes the OSS method so empowering in your kingmaker equation? And where is it going to lead us?

    My own experience is that organizing by passion and interest has proven to be far more powerful than organizing for profit. Yet profit, indeed, extraordinary profit, is a key driver in the switch from software product development to software driven business services.

    The magic of finding profit in the pursuit of shared passions is an elusive concept, and your thoughts would be most welcome.

    iMHO, one of the key features of selling software as a service (SAAS) is the cost effective torque of constantly ratcheting 'faster, better, cheaper' software improvement. Rolling upgrades and Cloud based access anytime - anywhere is having a revolutionary impact on the entire productivity - business investment model. Knocks the living crap out of the legacy software product licensing model Microsoft and Oracle seem eternally chained to. But how far can the OSS shared passion, easy procurement, rolling improvement - Cloud computing model run before businesses determine that there is a loss of competitive differentiation and marketshare loss that comes when advanced software service systems are universally available to all market participants?

    If businesses respond with a public / private Cloud deployment model, will this necessitate changes in OSS licensing - participation models?

    The evolution of technology you describe can also be seen as the evolution of automated business systems and processes. With advancing information technologies, there is the expectation of improved profit and competitive advantage. Yet, the cost of change and improvement has often been higher or equal to the advantages that can be quantified and explained.

    Businesses and individuals often need a push; a dramatic breakthrough in technology, a novel and innovative service or new approach, or a perfect storm of technical breakthroughs, dire economic circumstances and the sudden need to improve productivity or die.

    iMHO, we saw the latter situation of a perfect storm occur in 2008, but i'm not sure how OSS adapted? I feel the enormity of the change, and can easily point to the major deltas and drivers, but am wondering how you see the impact at the OSS community level?

    There is another question that puzzles me to no end. It's a 'purpose, profit, passion, platform' conundrum. No doubt that those who master this equation, whether it's the intention of the Kingmakers or not, will be Kings.

    So my question is, in the Stephen O'Grady 'Game of thrones', do the Kingmakers ever get to choose the Kings their efforts make?

    Or are they forever pawns to the ruthless, resource rich, determined to rule but visionary types that have figured out how to exploit developer efforts?

    I ask this knowing full well that you have studied OSS licensing models, and have carved out a very successful and sincere niche riding the fine line between corporate participation and developer community concerns; the line where benign and mutually beneficial cooperative participation in a developer community soon enough bends to business needs and marketplace purposes. We see this time and again; the faster community software moves up the stack, the closer the line gets.

    Do the new Kingmakers have any control over the Kings they make? Or the marketplaces of services and systems they make possible?

    Creating a marketplace of unlimited opportunity is not the same as insuring that those opportunities are open to all. Especially to the Kingmakers themselves.

    Between the Roman Emperor and the Roman Legions there had to be the Praetorian Guard. Otherwise the Kingmakers would take down the King the moment their needs and purposes were trampled.

    A good thing i think, but today's Praetorian Guard is that of the Patent Office and the ever present quagmire threat of legal Armageddon. Any ideas as to how Kingmakers might work around this?

    Great work Stephen. I hope you continue to drive this insightful line of thinking into the great transition, as businesses move their automated but Windows-MSOffice Workgroup bound systems and processes to an Open Web - Cloud Productivity Platform.

    All the best,
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The New Kingmakers

  1. 1. The New Kingmakers How Developers Took Over the WorldMarch 201310.20.2005
  2. 2. In the beginning… 2
  3. 3. Software was just an enabler 3
  4. 4. Eventually it evolved from means to end 4
  5. 5. Opportunities were perceived 5
  6. 6. And leveraged 6
  7. 7. The Era of Enterprise Software 1975 - 1998 7
  8. 8. 8
  9. 9. In whichSoftware = Business Software 9
  10. 10. These people controlled software development 10
  11. 11. But the future was already here 11
  12. 12. Created 1991 12
  13. 13. Created 1994 13
  14. 14. Created 1995 14
  15. 15. Created 1995 15
  16. 16. Created 1995 16
  17. 17. And then in 1998 17
  18. 18. A company that made money with software rather than from software 18
  19. 19. A company that built itself from free software 19
  20. 20. A company not beholden to the enterprise 20
  21. 21. Welcome to the The Developer Era 21
  22. 22. How did we get here? 22
  23. 23. 23
  24. 24. For the first time in history developers didn’t need permission 24
  25. 25. They still needed hardware, however 25
  26. 26. Created 2006 26
  27. 27. “EC2 means anyone with a $10bill can rent a 10-machinecluster with 1TB of distributedstorage for 8 hours.” - Flip Kromer 27
  28. 28. With hardware and software, what was still missing? 28
  29. 29. What might SaaS enable? 29
  30. 30. Education and Training 30
  31. 31. Collaboration Mechanisms 31
  32. 32. Marketplaces for Goods & Services 32
  33. 33. And lastly, developers needed access to capital 33
  34. 34. And it’s been granted Source: National Venture Capital Association and the UNH Center for Venture Research Credit: Chris Tacy 34
  35. 35. The Net What IT Decision Makers Think is Being Used CIOWhat Developers Want to Use What is Actually Being Used DEVELOPERS 35
  36. 36. Developers have neverbeen more empowered than they are today 36
  37. 37. Consider language adoption 37
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. Consider the state of standards 39
  40. 40. 40
  41. 41. Consider software adoption 41
  42. 42. 42
  43. 43. Consider market performance 43
  44. 44. 44
  45. 45. The reality is clear 45
  46. 46. Developers = Kingmakers 46
  47. 47. Where to get it? 47
  48. 48. 48
  49. 49. QUESTIONS 49