SM: Let’s focus a bit on the OpenSource universe itself. How do you see the movement changing and what do you see around you that is significant? Take WordPress for example; they just raised a ton of money. I run my website on WordPress and I don’t pay a dime.
BB: What is interesting is they have a software as a service model. When you are using WordPress for free you don’t even have to download it. One trend is that even though software as a service has risen there is still a reason to do things the OpenSource way.
The OpenSource aspect to WordPress has enabled them to have a larger community of people who run things themselves but in return have fixed bugs, have helped with scalability, and have added plug-ins which do lots of interesting things. What started out as a simple blog tool is now a platform. That kind of growth is something that drives interest back to the central provider of the service. That is why at CollabNet, even though our main business is software as a service we drove the Subversion OpenSource project. Lots of people are running Subversion on their own but at a certain point they will ask us to just run it for them. One trend that I see in OpenSource is an increase in web-based software.
SM: Could WordPress use your Subversion tool?
BB: Perhaps in a way, however the blogging software space is more fragmented. There are a lot of different players in the blogging space than there are in a more neutral space. WordPress is not quite a category killer, but it is still interesting to see how it has become a platform for all of these third parties to plug into.
SM: How is WordPress going to make money?
BB: I do not know what their plans are today or down the road but I would imagine that their focus is advertising.
SM: They don’t get any advertising from my site.
BB: Do they put adds on other peoples content? I am pretty sure they do.
SM: In the cases where they are the host they are probably taking some of the advertising dollars.
BB: In our case we did not think, and still don’t, that advertising is enough to support our application. We do have some sites that are public like the Sun site.
SM: Your business is very different. What else do you see in OpenSource?
BB: There is tremendous growth. For every software company today that is getting funding, whether it is a enterprise software or client side software company, you will likely find OpenSource is somewhere in the strategy. If it is not it would be as foolish as launching a company without an Internet strategy. Even a brick and mortar company must have one today.
OpenSource is clearly this disruptive model that ironically has become a standard part of the software development world. The trend today has been funding of companies that go much further up the stack to analytics and ERP software.