Subject: Re: Free Software vs. Disruptive Change
From: "Tim O'Reilly" <>
Date: Mon, 01 Jul 2002 21:26:29 -0700

On 7/1/02 8:49 PM, "Stephen J. Turnbull" <> wrote:

> Aside: By this definition, I don't see Linux as disruptive.  The whole
> point of adopting Linux or a *BSD is that it's a POSIX-compatible
> kernel, so most apps can be relatively easily ported.  Same goes for
> the GNU system.  Even Ben's own discussion shows how Linux can be
> integrated into an organization on an evolutionary basis, function by
> function.  Linux actually does not disrupt the organization's internal
> operations.

But Linux is extremely disruptive when it comes to the economics of the
industry.  A technology need not be disruptive in every way for it to
qualify as a disruptive technology.

It has a lot of the characteristics that Christenson pointed out in The
Innovator's Dilemma.  It works "less well" in some ways than the commercial
*nixes, but has characteristics that make it improve faster, to the point
where it will ultimately surpass them.   Similar to the PC, which was less
functional than the minicomputer, but grew faster in functionality and
ultimately took over.

Tim O'Reilly @ O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein Highway North, Sebastopol, CA 95472