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Delhi India New Delhi

OSS Camp Delhi2

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the first OSSCamp in September so I’m excited to see that the folks that brought us OSSCampDelhi are organizingOSSCampDelhi2 for the 15th and 16th of December. OSSCamp is a BarCamp-esque unconference being held for and by open source software users, enthusiasts, and those interested in learning about OSS. I am planning to be there and I hope I get to meet many of you there.

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Bangalore India

FOSS.IN Begins

I’m at FOSS.IN at the National Science Symposium Centre in Bangalore. Mr Atul Chitnis will be giving the keynote in just a few minutes, kicking off this year’s event.

FOSS.IN is one of the largest conferences of its kind in the world. “This is an event for the community, by the community”. The event started in 2001 and today 30% of the attendees are outside of Bangalore.

There’s no keynote speaker at FOSS.IN. Instead, there’s a sampling of attendees (7) that are called up onto stage. Each of them will share the lighting of the traditional Diya to mark the inauguration of this year’s FOSS.IN

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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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