Subject: Re: Free RDBMS market case (was Re: "I've got more programmers than you")
From: "Karsten M. Self" <>
Date: Wed, 3 Oct 2001 16:18:13 -0700
Wed, 3 Oct 2001 16:18:13 -0700
on Thu, Oct 04, 2001 at 07:58:14AM +0900, Stephen J. Turnbull (
> Quoting cleaned up a bit.
> >>>>> "kms" == Karsten M Self <> writes:
>     kms> on Tue, Oct 02, 2001 at 11:20:15PM -0700, David Fetter (
>     >> Free industrial-strength RDBMS?  Just forget it.
>     kms> Strongly disagreed.
> Ah, I should have expected you to blind-side me with a business
> argument for RDBMS while I was writing that nobody was making one.

Happy to oblige, sir.

The issue I'm addressing isn't "how can MySQLCorp make a killing by
starving out Oracle", it's more "will free-software based RDBMSs be
adopted broadly" (and how), and as a secondary concern, transferring the
Microsoft problem to Oracle:  "how can Oracle avoid being starved out by
free software"?

I've said before and I'll say it again:  FS is more a technology of
enablement than one of profit engines.  There are very few highly
successful pure software companies (some would say there's one).  I'll
assign you Christensen's book as well -- first chapter or so should
outline the case.

Note that Oracle's answer is more clear (clearer?) than Microsoft's:
Oracle has a team of bloodsuckers, er, service conslutants, who
supplement its revenues broadly.  Oracle can play the IBM game, though
they'd be encouraged to team up with a hardware company to do it.

Hmmm...Anyone see Sun and Oracle hopping into the sack?  Makes a
shitload more sense than HP/Q.  Anyone care to take odds?

Actually, I think I'd like that.  I don't particularly care for Oracle's
general reputation, and Sun's annoyed me plenty of late, but it would
seem like a good mix, and would balance out the Insanely Big Monopole
currently filling out the enterprise free software space.  Tai Chi


> Now here's a no-brainer MBA exercise for you:  Get Oracle's database
> revenues; get tcX's.  Divide revenue by hits and see who is more
> efficient at turning interest into revenue.

Wrong question.

Which end of the market is going to be more effective at maintaining
growth.  The low end will grow (with vastly less impressive numbers)
while eroding the high ground.

> I see the market penetration, all right.  But what's the FSB
>  business  model here?

Talk to IBM.

...filled out by us independent longhair radicals doing solo work (or
not, as the case may be).

Karsten M. Self <>
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?              Home of the brave                    Land of the free
   Free Dmitry! Boycott Adobe! Repeal the DMCA!
Geek for Hire            

["application/pgp-signature" not shown]