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Business Misc. Open Source Startups Technology

Entrepreneurship and Open Source Software Charity?

Rajiv Poodar has a great post on Wireless Utopia: Open Source and Charity about his frustration in explaining open source business models to others in Bangalore. It’s not a problem specific to Bangalore, though.

Charity is a dirty word in business circles. Free Open Source Software is considered charity. Therefore FOSS == Dirty. Free Software Business == stupid idea. FOSS Entrepreneur == BIG LOSER.

Wireless Utopia: Open Source and Charity

I think it is impossible for most people to comprehend that OSS is not charity. Open Source Software is a way of increasing the value of software faster than proprietary software and it is a way of improving software development efficiency (some will say it improves software quality but I’m not so sure about this). OSS allows people to customize, build upon previous works, improve upon previous works, and add value faster than closed systems can do. This isn’t to say that there isn’t a place for closed systems but it is meant more to highlight that a company built on open source software (and creating open source software) can be much more valuable than a company building only closed source software.

Creating a technology business is more than creating software. Most people don’t understand that. They believe that the software is the secret sauce. It’s usually just a very important ingredient of the secret sauce. As most successful entrepreneurs will tell you, the secret sauce is the execution, not the software, not the team. These are all ingredients in having flawless execution.

Though the Linux source code is free and open source software, it is not charity. It is the underpinning of a multi-billion dollar software industry (RedHat, Novell, IBM, HP, Mandriva, etc). The source code for MySQL is widely available, though no other companies have been as efficient at building services around MySQL than MySQL AB.

Preach the open source business model to those who have a chance of understanding it. Those that can’t get it, will eventually be left behind.

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Business Business and Economics Misc.

Another Cog in the Wheel

Here’s a great post on Amit Ranjan’s personal blog about how large technology and outsourcing companies in India are turning the cream of the crop engineers into just more cogs in their wheels.
I worked at a very large Wall Street firm for a few years and then I’ve worked at small companies (small in terms of the number of people). The best part of working at a small company, by far, is seeing the results of your labor on a daily basis and how it directly affects the business. Good luck seeing how busting your hump on a daily basis benefits Infosys.

There are, however, significant drawbacks to working for a small company.

  1. The likelihood that your family and friends will know the name of the company that you are working for is close to zero.
  2. The pay is usually lower at small, unknown companies.
  3. The benefits are usually not as good as they are at large companies.
  4. The dangerous of a small company going out of business is generally higher than a large company going out of business.

The benefits of working for a small company are:

  1. You’re a name, not an employee number.
  2. The excitement of helping to build a business is enormous.
  3. Seeing how your work affects the growth of that business is an even bigger high.
  4. Working at a small firm helps you develop a sense of camaraderie that goes deeper than the relationships you can develop at a large firm.
  5. You could be learning and contributing much more in a small company than a larger one if you prove that you’re a doer not a talker.
  6. There’s more work and less politics at a smaller firm.

For more, in depth, details, jump over to Amit’s blog below.

Ques- What warning sign is written on the boundary walls of the TCS office in Madras?

Ans Р̢??Beware Trespassers- If you are not careful, you will be recruited̢??

amit ranjan

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