Subject: Re: Larry Ellison on FSBs
From: Brian Behlendorf <>
Date: Mon, 24 Apr 2006 22:07:59 -0700 (PDT)

On Mon, 24 Apr 2006, Ben Tilly wrote:
> On 4/24/06, Thomas Lord <> wrote:
>> Ben Tilly wrote:
>>> Between PostGres and MySql, Oracle's current business model is toast
>>> within a decade or so, and there isn't much they can do about that
>>> reality.  Given the level of lock-in that people have with databases,
>>> they'll take a good while dying.  They may find new businesses to be
>>> in.  But their current business is doomed.
> [...]
>> Well, ok, one part where you're wrong.  You say: "there isn't much
>> they can do about that."   On the contrary.  Oracle has the luxuries
>> of planning, delaying, experimenting, outspending -- in short, Oracle
>> has the opportunity to get open source business models right rather
>> than growing-while-flying-by-seat-of-pants.
> You obviously haven't read Tom Christensen's books on the topic.
> Established companies usually try the planning, delaying, outspending
> etc approach and it consistently fails badly for subtle but fairly
> universal organizational reasons.  If you care, then read the books,
> but I won't try to summarize Christensen's analysis of why it happens.
> Just accept that it does.

You mean Clayton Christensen?  Or did the Perl guy write a business book? 

CC gave many examples of failures but didn't go so far as to say it was 
impossible; he even wrote a followup book, "The Innovator's Solution", 
which was actually a set of possible strategies you could deploy to 
respond to such disruption from below.  "Disrupt the disruptors" was my 
favorite.  The biggest win appears to be in simply recognizing the problem 
and trying anything to respond; most companies who are disrupted live in 
denial that the disruption is taking place or likely to take place until 
it's too late.