Subject: Re: Great Bridge closes.
From: Tom Lord <lord@regexps.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2001 21:39:14 -0700 (PDT)


I think a good strategy for a smaller, more specialized company like
Great Bridge would have been to figure out how to make RH a major
customer -- essentially to help RH outsource some of their Postgres
development needs.  That might be hard if RH has a surplus of
engineering capacity, shortage of cash, and the technology in question
is for some reason a very high priority, but otherwise it should be a
win-win, both strategically and tactically.

To build a robust long term relationship, there would have to be
considerable open-ness between the companies about engineering process
and state: that's the smaller company's product, really.  That's a
Good Thing.

There'd be a tension if it turned out that the smaller company held a
big market for high-revenue after-market services that customers
bypassed RH to obtain.  The smaller company would have to concede some
of that revenue to RH if it wanted to keep its independence (and
existence).  (Unless, of course, the revenues were *really* large.)

The small company would also be in a bad position if they were too
specialized: if they got the code base to some desired state and then
there was nothing left to do.  I doubt Postgres falls into the "too
specialized" category.

That possible business pattern is an open source strength.  If you
tried to do it while protecting proprietary software, you'd get
all tangled up.

-t