The business renaissance and the culture of open source

In the last couple of days I’ve had the “problem” of having lots of people trying out deskhot. The nice part of my “problem” is that people, not only love the application and start using it right away, but they also move their bookmarks from competitor’s services. The bad part is that the database has gotten very large in a very short period of time.

The creation of adam

I’ve spent the last two days conducting a series of experiments and benchmarks. I’m thinking of replacing apache with nginx and MySQL with a no-db solution like MongoDB. I’ve set up Debian Linux on a couple of computers, installed the software mentioned above and have been testing various configuration combinations since. While I was feeling lost and dizzy from hours in front of a green and black terminal, countless manual pages and forum posts, I remembered how computing was back in the 90’s when I was studying computer science.

Back then it was all about things like Windows NT, enterprise UNIX, Visual Studio and the like. If you wanted to even have a shot at creating a software business you needed money. And by money I mean lots of money. But the real cost was not hardware or software. It was the time and money you had to invest in specialized training from corporations like Microsoft and SUN. Back in 1998 you couldn’t just find a specialized technical answer on Google.

In about a decade the open source movement changed all that. Now everyone who is willing to devote a reasonable amount of time to it, can start a software business. The same enterprise level software available to Google and Facebook is available for free to everyone. Along with documentation and technical support. It’s the equivalent of every school basketball team on earth being able to be coached by Phil Jackson for free.

It’s becoming obvious that over the next twenty years we will experience radical changes in the way businesses are created and operated. The Goliaths of today will be smaller tomorrow and the Davids of today will have a better chance at the future. And the best part of this forthcoming renaissance is that we can all be a part of it.