At the Open Source Business Conference, SpikeSource launched its first products. The company takes the idea behind companies like Red Hat and Novell, and takes it a step further: instead of selling a Linux distribution that it didn't develop, the startup plans to make money by selling Linux integrated component stacks of applications, libraries, language runtimes, middleware and tools that it didn't develop.
The SpikeSource Core Stacks solve an important problem for the IT manager, who otherwise would have to compose his own stack, and test it to guarantee interoperability between the components and his operating system. SpikeSource already has done all that testing. It certifies the stacks and also sells upgrade and patching services, promising to also test the upgrades and patches to guarantee continued interoperability.
If Red hat can make living off selling an operating system it didn't develop, I don't see any reason why SpikeSource couldn't pull the same trick by selling its stacks. And Silicon Valley's premier venture capital investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers seems to agree – the company is incubated by the VC's parter and former Oracle executive Ray Lane.
Spikesource's Kim Polese (former CEO of Marimba, a dotcom-bomb company that has since been acquired by BMC Software) spoke at the Open Source Business Conference (OSBC) in San Francisco yesterday, but didn't say much that got us exited other than that open source rules. But at least she didn't put on a 45-minute SpikeSource pitch.
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