I’m excited to be at OSCON this year.  It’s my first trip, and so far Portland is proving to be far more comfortable than Chicago, (weather-wise anyway).

My Birds of a Feather slot is scheduled — Open Source on Force.com — for Wednesday, July 27, at 8:00p.  Be sure to drop by!

In the mean time, I’ve been asking myself a simple question: why open source?  Two interesting posts popped up in my pre #OSCON related reading that both point to the same idea (and about zillion more will popup by the end of the week — that’s why I’m here).

First, there’s the blog “Proprietary Software Isn’t Evil” that O’Reilly put out late last week.  It notes:

There are plenty of places where FOSS makes all the sense in the world, and those are the places that FOSS has succeeded. No one uses a closed source compiler anymore, Eclipse is one of the leading IDEs for many languages, and Linux is a dominant player in embedded operating systems. All these cases succeeded because, largely, the software is secondary to the main business of the companies using it.

Second, there’s Stephen O’Grady’s (of RedMonk) excellent article from last year “The State of Open Source: Startup, Growth, Maturity, or Decline.”  It notes:

Why would commercial organizations willingly cede the fruits of their labor to a market that might include their competitors? Because for software that is non-differentiating, that is not a competitive advantage – which for most non-technology firms is virtually all of their software – it will cost more over the longer term to author software privately than it would publicly.

Software is a tricky business and getting it right requires a lot of work.  If it’s not your primary business, or if the app you are working on isn’t part of your primary revenue stream, open it up to the community makes great sense.  And I’m excited to see this happen within the Force.com ecosystem.

If you’re at OSCON, be sure to say hello.

You can find me at http://Reidpl.us or also on that legacy social network at @ReidCarlberg.

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