Subject: Re: Competition by internal expertise for F/OSS vendors
From: Federico Lucifredi <>
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 2008 21:02:34 -0400

Rich Bodo wrote:
>> Hello fsb,
>>  some of you may remember my past comment along the line of "top 
>> competitor to F/OSS service vendors is internal expertise, ergo 
>> companies with clueful and sufficiently large support staff may choose 
>> to deploy and support F/OSS by themselves more often than those 
>> without said cluefulness. Conclusion: the F/OSS support market dredges 
>> for IT shops inherently less than ideal in terms of support cost for 
>> the vendor (they will indeed use what they purchase, extensively - it 
>> is not simple "blame insurance" - and those customers are selectively 
>> expensive, as opposed to an unbiased cut of the whole spectrum).
> When I was consulting with FOSS I did notice an acute cheapo-effect - 
> much moreso than in the general IT consulting I did.  I recall Don Marti 
> used only two axes to evaluate customers into four quadrants - 
> Intelligence and Wealth.  I believe this was a result of his having 
> worked in the first FOSS marketing company.  I can't prove it, but I do 
> believe that relative to products that do not promote FOSS, 
> FOSS-promoting products skew customers to the Intelligent and 
> Extremely-Cheapo corner of the chart.

interesting. Got a pointer to Don's analysis? I could not find it in my 

>>  We already discussed that in the past, including appropriate 
>> counterpoints to the effect that consulting is for the less clueful, 
>> by definition 
>> (,

>> and we should not expect an unbiased sampling in the first place - 
>> blame insurance should not be the primary scenario.
>>  However, a nice trend chart ( 

>> ) would seem to show that indeed, self-support is growing faster than 
>> direct traditional support - what does that mean? Not sure, but seems 
>> still worth thinking about.
> Hard to say, this one looks a little more telling to me:

> Looks like Ubuntu is just kicking ass and taking mind-share.  Of course, 
> there is no telling what all that web traffic means in terms of market 
> share.
> -Rich

Best -F

-- "'Problem' is a bleak word for challenge" - Richard Fish
(Federico L. Lucifredi) -