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Re: What can we learn from MySQL?

From: Bruce Momjian <pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Andrew Payne <andy(at)payne(dot)org>
Cc: PostgreSQL-development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>,PostgreSQL advocacy <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: What can we learn from MySQL?
Date: 2004-04-28 15:55:14
Message-ID: 200404281555.i3SFtEN02318@candle.pha.pa.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-advocacypgsql-hackerspgsql-www
Andrew Payne wrote:
> 
> Bruce wrote:
> 
> > > Does anyone know of an open source project that *has* successfully
> displaced
> > > a market of mature, established products WITHOUT a commercial entity
> > > providing marketing, support & direction?
> >
> > Linux.  It doesn't have a single company behind it, but several.
> 
> Uh, no.  Linux HAD a commercial entity providing marketing, support, and
> direction.  Red Hat went a long, long way to making Linux real for
> businesses.  They were (are) a well-funded entity, focused on Linux
> adoption.  Their early success, in turn, validated the business (a) so
> competitors got funded and (b) so established companies (e.g. IBM) started
> to pay attention.
> 
> (This is not meant to give all credit to Red Hat:  if it wasn't them, it
> would have been some other similar group).
> 
> So, does anyone know of an open source project that *has* successfully
> displaced a market of mature, established products WITHOUT a commercial
> entity providing marketing, support & direction?
> 
> If not, where's the Red Hat for Postgres?

My point was that once a single company showed it as profitable, other
companies came alone and no one company controls Linux development.  We
have that now with SRA, Red Hat, Fujitsu, and many smaller companies
funding development of PostgreSQL.  (In fact, there were several Linux
companies before Red Hat.)  

Now, if you are asking about marketing, yea, we don't have much in that
area right now, and we need it.  I think your point was that we need a
single controlling company to provide marketing because if there are
many, there is little incentive to market PostgreSQL because all the
other companies are taking advantage of it.  That is mostly true.

However, I would argue that Red Hat providing support was more important
than Red Hat marketing, and we do have that with a number of companies
now, and SRA is going to be announcing world-wide support soon (not just
Japan), and we have other venture capital guys looking a forming companies.

My concern about a single company, as all of us are, is that we kill the
community that created the software, which then burdens the single
company to steer development, leading to disaster.

-- 
  Bruce Momjian                        |  http://candle.pha.pa.us
  pgman(at)candle(dot)pha(dot)pa(dot)us               |  (610) 359-1001
  +  If your life is a hard drive,     |  13 Roberts Road
  +  Christ can be your backup.        |  Newtown Square, Pennsylvania 19073

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