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Big Data and The Open Source Model
Can This Marriage Be Saved?
Dec. 4, 2012 07:45 AM
It is amazing how many open source software companies out there are trying to get hit by the same $1B bolt of lightning that hit MySQL without realizing that the MySQL result is not repeatable.
Looking at the current batch of big data high flyers, from TenGen to Cloudera to Hortonworks, each seems to be vying for the same kind of ubiquitous usage that enabled MySQL to get a more than 20x multiple. What they don't realize is that the failure of early open source acquisitions to deliver substantial value to owners has made buyers much more wary.
Companies like MySQL were valued based on a mystical belief that downloads could be monitized (not unlike the similarly wishful belief in monetizing eyeballs that motivated disastrous dot com acquisitions in the 90s). Moving forward, open source companies will be valued the old-fashioned way: by the viability of their business model.
Here are the top three places most big data open source companies are missing the boat:
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