Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Does Open Source need Product Managers?

If a company adopts the Open Source business model, does it need Product Managers ?

According to Marc Fleury, the founder and CEO of Jboss, Open Source is the business model for the 21st century. The VC model on Silicon Valley is institutionalized. The French proper adjective is “bourgeoise”. VC are now bourgeoise. Marc writes:

Choose a career path, choose a cubicle, choose endless code review meetings, choose an IDE, choose to be good to authority and hope authority will be good to you, choose a thought leader, choose a license, choose an architecture, choose a paradigm, choose a retirement plan, choose a language, choose your SOA, choose sensitivity training, choose Linux vs. Windows, choose a debugger, choose an MBA, choose the system…

Or…
You can choose not to choose the system. And the reasons? Who needs reasons when you've got Open Source?


But Jboss has a VC, Matrix from Boston. They have products and charge for their products everything in services except one-time license fees. They have a very serious product portfolio strategy and the VP of Product Management is featured on http://www.jboss.com/company/management

They are pretty much a 20th century company. Fleury is quoted in Business Week On Line April 10
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/06_15/b3979095.htm

Fleury and his investors say they're focused on getting ready for an initial public offering, which will come "sooner rather than later," ... "They'll be rich," Fleury boldly says of investors and employees. "I'll create a generation of open-source millionaires, and I'm damn proud of that.


They sold two days ago the company to Red Hat after having Novell and Red Hat as suitors for $420M. The VC’s got 20 times return for a two year investment, Marc is a very wealthy man. Not so sure about the mainstream employees

The Jboss Product Management did a superb job. It’s impossible to support for money an ever changing open source code, without a release train and product portfolios. They created the infrastructure that made Jboss a sale-able corporation that attracted the big ticket buyers

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