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Author Topic:   You don't own the wave, you ride it...
Black belt
posted 05-22-1999 07:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Salmons   Click Here to Email Jim_Salmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can readily imagine a grizzly old surfer imparting these sage words, "You don't own the wave, you ride it," when asked to reveal the secret to his success.

These words can serve equally well as a foundation for strategic thinking in the nanocorp. We don't own the wave, we ride it.

The Industrial and Post-Industrial Ages were about owning waves. The accretive growth of conventional business revels in the competitive advantage of wave ownership.

But who wants to own a wave? Each one inevitably peters out on the shore, doesn't it? Bad investment.

Truth is, and we all know it, it is more fun to ride a wave than it is to own it.

What are some examples of wave riding in today's world? and What are the strategic and tactical implications of wave riding for the nanocorp?

Black belt
posted 05-23-1999 04:42 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Salmons   Click Here to Email Jim_Salmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A most exciting and encouraging example of non-wave-ownership in the Internet and software domains is the Open Source movement.

Metaphorically, Open Source is a three-legged stool. The first two legs, free and source code provided, get the lion's share of attention. But it is the third leg, voluntary collaborative maintenance, support and extension where the true value of open source lies.

Scratch the surface of anyone prominent in the open source community and you will find a natural born "rider," not an "owner."

From a rider's standpoint, sohodojo will benefit from the extra leverage of the open source movement as we build executable business model frameworks using ZOPE (Python-based) technologies running on Linux boxes with Apache servers, all outstanding open source products.

We will get a head start developing nanocorp-useful software by using these exciting Open Source technologies. The products of our effort will, in kind, be licensed under the Open Source Initiative so others can get a similar head start in solving their favorite problems.

We won't own these fruits of our labor in the traditional sense. But you can bet, we have every intention of riding whatever wave of influence we help to create.

[This message has been edited by Timlynn_Babitsky (edited 23 July 1999).]

Black belt
posted 05-29-1999 04:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jim_Salmons   Click Here to Email Jim_Salmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I recently did a 'Pub Jeer' about a Tcl/Tk tool software vendor who doesn't get it and a Perl tool vendor that does... understand wave ownership and riding, that is.

White belt
posted 07-19-1999 09:39 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for PaulEveritt   Click Here to Email PaulEveritt     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Let's talk about that three-legged stool.

More specifically, let me share some experience as the guy that
sells Zope consulting to people. Some of them get the free part,
obviously. Some of them get the source part.

Believe it or not, some even get the community part,
though they get it in different ways. For instance, for some I
deliver it as an antidote to the "where am I gonna find
Zooooope (said with a Waahh) people to hire?" My obvious
response: the same place we do, silly, on the 500+ mind-numbingly
active mailing list.

Some also respond to the argument of "others will find and fix the
bug before you encounter the problem". Hmm, let's think for a moment
-- yup, that's pretty compelling.

With something like Zope, which is designed to provide framework
services that encourage coherent extension, sharing the surf with many
others also strikes a chord with prospective clients. Anthony Baxter
from Australia contributed a solid LDAP integration product?

But there's something bigger than these.

Don't think of it as a fourth leg on the stool. No, that would
imply it's a critical piece -- not to mention one that decreases
stability. No, think of it as the difference between a stool and a
chair -- a chair back, a bit of comfort. I'm referring to that which
I use on every opportunity. I play the control card.

Businesses trained in the rat race have a five mile wide
Button! on them about being in control. You are
either in control or being controlled. I start my speech about how
application servers are becoming core, mission-critical infrastructure
pieces, just like operating systems, databases, and web servers.

And when it comes to mission-critical stuff, who trusts their
technology vendor? Well, erm, uhh, nobody. Does anybody really
expect to get good support (for which the company has forked over
mega$ for the privilege of sitting on hold)? Should they expect
vendors to lower prices and upgrade costs in the future? How about
your operating system -- is your vendor really committed to it?

If your business is down, and losing a million a
day while down, is "There's nothing I can do?" a good answer to the
board? Yahoo didn't think so. They deployed on FreeBSD.

For me, Open Source is about retaining a chance in hell that I'll
be able to do something about my Big Problems.

Imagine if automakers shipped cars with the hoods locked, and only
the vendors was allowed unlock the hoods. What an outrage! And
source code escrow is little better. Now you can unlock the
hood, but you can't take it to your mechanic.

Sure, there are still businesses that think "living online" is
faxing home page changes to their agency once a year. But these are
the horse buggies. For the rest, remember -- your business is too
important to be controlled by your vendor's business plan.

Paul Everitt
Zope Folk, Digicool

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