I made the claim that the support-based OSS business model doesn’t scale. Shaun (of JBoss fame), disagrees.


Hi Savio,

Funny how your $250M and $500M numbers are where Red Hat was a while ago and where Red Hat is headed shortly. Don’t take silence as implied agreement that open source is waning. Let’s see where Red Hat is over next couple of years and see if you keep raising your numbers.

Anyhow, a couple of things for you to consider before you prance off all happy that the world agrees with you:
1. To get a better comparisions between open source models and proprietary models try multiplying OSS numbers by 5X since subscription business compares against maintenance business. This will get you closer to an apples to apples comparison. This is rough math of course.

2. Red Hat does not have the breath of product offerings as MSFT…or IBM for that matter. So comparing overall company revenues is not fair either. You work for a big gorilla dude…your numbers will always be big….doesn’t necessarily mean you’re better.

3. “The support-only OSS business model does not scale.”. Uhhh…disagree. The subscription model is the gift that gives day in/day out. It takes a while to build up that base, but if you keep renewals at a good level, it’s a very scalable model.

4. As you add more products to the portfolio, you scale since you have more value to offer customers…therefore your convos become more strategic.

Anyhow, I could go on…but maybe I’ll reserve for a blog of my own. ;-)


Read Shaun’s blog here.