Curry and the Impending Doom

Just had dinner with The Other American President at the indian place off Marble Arch / Oxford Street.

A really nice dinner, I have to say, even when our main topics were stress, the IT market’s suicide in the attempt to stop Microsoft and its further inevitable and impending doom, leading to crap buggy code, crap ridiculously large bloated relatively bug-free code, and then some more sad things.

Ok, horrible example, but pick a company that has some sort of business model on top of Open Source, like, say - and I told you this was a bad example - JBoss. They apparently own 37% of the J2EE Application Server market, if I read TSS correctly (despite having lost the link and being fairly tired by now). And they’ve got around 30 to 50 employees…

Isn’t there something wrong with this? I mean, you would’ve thought that a company that owned 37% of a market where there’s a f*ckload of cash flowing around like mad would be able to grow larger, presuming that the basic intent of every company is to grow. And I’m sure it is growing, but, still, there’s something fishy in this picture. Are they doing better than BEA? Certainly, in market share terms, but in terms of pocket depth, I would disagree.

I don’t mean this to say that JBoss is taking jobs out of the BEAs and IBMs around, I mean that we all are, as an industry, giving more and more of our products and services away for free. Sure, there’s a lot of potential business models there, and I’m sure Bob at OpenXource is the right person to talk to if you’re interested, but I’m still wondering why we are deliberately rushing out to produce free and open source products, mostly to provide an alternative or to beat Big Evil Companies, and if we’re not thinking about the whole industry while at it.

We’re making ourselves redundant, in a sense. Which is actually a good thing. We’ll have to move on to more interesting problems. Why would that be bad?