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Businesses Open Source Red Hat Software The Almighty Buck Linux

Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies? 487

Glyn Moody writes "If open source is such a success, why aren't there any billion-dollar turnover open source companies? A recent briefing by Red Hat's CEO, Jim Whitehurst, to a group of journalists may provide an answer. Asked why Red Hat wasn't yet a $5 billion company, as he suggested it would be one day, he said getting Red Hat to $5 billion meant 'replacing $50 billion of revenue' currently enjoyed by traditional computer companies. If, as is likely, that's generally true for open source companies, it means they will need to displace around $10 billion of proprietary business in order to achieve a billion-dollar turnover. Few are likely to do that. Perhaps it's time for managers of open source startups to stop chasing the billion-dollar dream. If they don't, they will set unrealistic ambitions for themselves, disappoint their investors, and allow opponents of free software to paint one of its defining successes — saving money — as a failure."
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Why No Billion-Dollar Open Source Companies?

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  • Re:Pftt (Score:3, Funny)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Friday June 11, 2010 @10:02AM (#32534860) Journal

    Why do you rate Windows the worst and Linux the best? What makes Windows so horrible to maintain? All you have to do is pop-in a CD and install. After that the system usually has everything the user needs (web browser, Microsoft Office, etc).

    And what makes Linux so easy? In my experience it's a pain in the ass - for example my Linux laptop refuses to execute flash websites (like or And I can't get it to talk to my Netscape ISP.

The human mind ordinarily operates at only ten percent of its capacity -- the rest is overhead for the operating system.