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Web 2.0 Summit: Wrapping Open Source in a Bubble of Love

web20It’s day two of the Web 2.0 Conference Summit and I’ve learned several new things and had my horizons raised. I won’t be blogging much though since the AOL-supplied Wifi connection is completely unusable (even after a fix of an apparent bad cable) and I’m involved in dozens of some of the most stimulating conversations I’ve had in years here.

Don Tapscott has a new book coming out called Wikinomics and he gave an excellent talk. I’m specifically keen on any insights he has related to the shift in value occurring in a world of participation and mass collaboration.

While talking with Don, Kim Polese (CEO of Spikesource) stopped to chat and the three of us went off on tangents about mass collaboration…and I was able to ask Ms. Polese several questions about their strategy (which must’ve made her wonder, “Who the hell IS this guy?”) to bundle, certify and support a suite of open source applications. We talked about supplying all of them through the channel as well as the support services around this software and a host of other issues.

Let me just state that I’m 100% in alignment with their strategy though am not close enough to it and its success to date. In my view, their wrapping open source in a bubble of love like this is the only way a healthy ecosystem will build around strong, open source projects. Even though the software is free, it’s too difficult to implement multiple packages, each with their own respective interfaces, and small-to-midsize businesses would be mildly better off if they tried to expend the resources necessary to do all of this themselves. Too much risk, no support through the channel (Value Added Resellers, hardware resellers, service organizations) without a strategy like Spikesource is delivering.

I’m going to write more when I get a chance and a decent connection. Had a few other “Aha’s!” some of which I’ll share and others I’ll keep to myself for now. If you’d like to read one of the best recaps of this conference, head on over to ReadWriteWeb and look at the great stuff they’re producing.

About Steve Borsch

I'm CEO of Marketing Directions, Inc., a trend forecasting, consulting and publishing firm in Minnesota. Prior to that I was Vice President, Strategic Alliances at Lawson Software in St. Paul where I was responsible for all partnerships at this major vendor of enterprise resource planning software products and services. Read more about me here unless you're already weary of me telling you how incredible and awesome I am.

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