In one of the most colossal understatements ever, Cloudera co-founder Mike Olson declared, “It’s pretty hard to build a successful, stand-alone open source company.”
Having spent 15 years trying to do exactly that, I would go one step further: It’s impossible.
Yes, we have Red Hat. But that’s all we have. Investor (and former open source executive) Peter Levine insists that “we will never have another Red Hat,” and he’s right. But this may be because the Amazons of the world are increasingly eating the Red Hats of the world — one SaaS business at a time.