Oracle – King of Open Source
April 20, 2009
With thanks to Barney Finucane (Twitter:bfinucane) for the inspiration.
A tweet from Barney led me to daydream about a fantasy scenario with Larry Ellison and Richard Stallman on Ellison’s yacht.
Larry summons Stallman, after being informed that RMS is the guru of Open Source software, a boatload of which Larry has just acquired.
“So Dick, they tell me you are the go-to guy for this Open Source stuff. I’ve got the goddamn stuff coming out of my ears now. I need a 20% growth rate next fiscal on licenses, lay out your business plan for me.”
“Larry, I don’t think you have quite grasped the concept of Open Source, it is about freedom and letting everyone have choice”
“Yeah Dick, that’s good spin, go on, where’s the main growth potential”
“Larry, the point of Open Source is that it is free, you don’t pay for it”
“Dick, you’re not making any sense, or do you mean that you don’t pay for it up front, kind of a loss leader sort of thing, then we come in with the maintenance and support hammer and grind the customer to a pulp. A sort of market share grab, is that the deal?”
“No Larry, you develop software and give it away, including the source code”
“Dick, now you’re really starting to worry me, you look like a bit of a hippy-have you dropped acid or something?”
“Larry, you should read some of my writing, about how software has no owners, it is free, the documentation is free, it is more reliable than proprietory softw…”
Gunshot rings out.
“Kenny, (gestures with smoking pistol to robust-looking bodyguard) throw this crazy-ass hippy in the ocean will you”