Subject: Re: Successful FSBs
From: Adam Turoff <>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2002 13:43:22 -0400

On Fri, Sep 20, 2002 at 10:08:34AM -0700, Larry M. Augustin wrote:
> Or, the conclusion may be that "Pure FSBs work as lifestyle businesses,
> but not as investor-backed businesses."
> But, to paraphrase slightly, "we need to look more deeply into whether
> or not that conclusion is true, because if it is, it will affect how we
> council new FSB startups."

Again, both Zope Corp and MySQL AB appear to meet the criteria of 
successful, investor-backed and FSB (even though we haven't defined what
constitutes an FSB yet).   [*]

So the conclusion that "pure FSBs fail as investor-backed businesses"
appears to be false, at least in some circumstances.  Nevertheless,
it is important to study where it is succeeding, where it is failing,
and why it doesn't make sense to grow lifestyle businesses into
investor-backed businesses.

(I'm purposly ignoring more contentious issues: whether RedHat, a
successful investor-backed business, is a FSB, or whether other
businesses like Sun and Apple are "para-Open Source" or FSBs.)


*: MySQL is privately held and has been profitable since 1996.

   MySQL AB recently closed its first round of financing with leading
   European early stage investors.

   At the behest of its largest investor, Opticality Ventures, Zope
   Corporation released its software as open source, concentrating on
   providing premier customization services.