[kwlug-disc] OSS opportunity to go mainstream, big time

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Thu Sep 16 20:44:42 EDT 2010


----- Original Message -----
> I don't know. Why do OSS always copy and follow successful and proven
> Windows application? I can't think of any successful business or pioneer idea
> that involves OSS. Even Google is not "open source". Facebook will say, "Get of my tail."

Was Google the first to offer web search? No. Was Facebook the first to have the idea for social networking or a social networking web site? Also no, so they are not pioneering? Some may also argue facebook is not a good idea. Both are also services more than an applications, business ideas more than a technical advancement.

But looking at your second sentence, rather than the example:

Some applications require critical mass to be effective. Facebook is one of those. Not being familiar with its history (and I doubt the recent movie is an unbiased depiction,) I don't know if it was just a great idea that caught on fast (like the open source bittorrent) or an idea that took massive amounts of marketing to reach critical mass.

I also don't think it's fair to divide between OSS and proprietary. Software shares ideas within those two camps too, not just across the OSS/Proprietary line. Many say that most of Microsoft's good ideas were someone else's, that they aren't innovative technically. As others have posted, there are lots of innovative things that OSS does, they just aren't always designed to be as glossy as proprietary ideas, they are designed to be useful. They don't reach top-of-mind because there isn't a constant pounding of marketing reminding us of that.

Wasn't the first web browser graphical and open source? I'd say that was pretty revolutionary.

-- 
John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
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