Several Irregulars contributed to a rejoinder to Guy Smith's post last week around Open Source on sandhill.com. Mine below was more of a rejoinder to the Irregulars who were pretty mean to Guy. Guy is a a good Melbourne boy - he can tell them to go chunder -)
"Living in Florida, we are acutely aware of hurricanes. While we give them single names like Katrina and Andrew, they are really armadas of smaller destruction elements that attack with wind, flood, lighting and so on. Hurricanes move in highly unpredictable ways depending on their steering winds and pressure systems and the competing elements within them.
In spite of supercomputers, daring measurement flights in to the eye, satellites, dopplers we are still learning to predict where they will make landfall and at what speed. Today, the National Weather Center can predict a cone of likely hurricane track over the next 48 hours with a potential error of 320 miles. Does not sound too inaccurate, right" Well, each mile of coastline evacuated costs $1 million in lost wages, closed businesses and in the expense of emergency personnel and shelter openings
In the software business, we have Hurricane Enterprise coming. As Forrester recently wrote, it has 4 "horsemen" - Open Source, SaaS, SOA and Offshore Development. Reading Guy's comments and those of my Irregular colleagues I think we are similarly trying to predict the course of this storm. What we do not know is whether it will be a category 1 or 3. Or where it will land. And which of the elements will cause what damage.
The important thing to remember is the conditions are ripe. As Marten Mickos, CEO of MySQL recently said "Oracle created the market [for open source databases] by having a highly priced product..." As did IBM, as did Microsoft, as did SAP in other elements of the stack.
The hurricane is the response to the vacuum. It is the effect, not the cause. And it is a combination of many small sub-systems. Open Source is just one of the elements. The others are just as deadly."