28 June 2007

Plugging in to Asay Power

I met up with Matt Asay (pronounced "ay-see") recently. I learned from this that he's had what amounts to the perfect career in open source business: training as a lawyer (including some work with Larry Lessig), then stints with Lineo (a pioneering embedded Linux company) and Novell (during which time he founded the Open Source Business Conference) before joining Alfresco, an enterprise content management company that is one of a whole new generation of businesses that collectively make up the open source enterprise stack.

My meeting also confirmed something that I had suspected for a while: that he is the most astute commentator on the open source business scene, bar none.

He has a new outlet for these insights in the form of the blog "The Open Road" on C|net (which means, unfortunately, that the URLs are totally opaque), where he is churning out posts at a rate that puts mere professional writers such as myself to shame. To make matters worse, he's come up with a blindingly obvious and brilliant wheeze for both generating lots of interesting copy and also providing what amounts to a grand conspectus of the entire open source business scene: an emailed survey of top CEOs there. Now, why couldn't I have thought of that?

The results are required reading for anyone who wants to understand the state of free software in the world of business today - and where it's going tomorrow. Here's the list of interviews:

Dave Rosenberg, MuleSource

Javier Soltero, Hyperic

Marten Mickos, MySQL

John Powell, Alfresco

Fabrizio Capobianco, Funambol

Boris Kraft, Magnolia

Kelly Herrell, Vyatta

Satish Dharmaraj, Zimbra

Ranga Rangachari, Groundwork

Dries Buytaert, Drupal

John Roberts, SugarCRM

Toby Oliver, Path Intelligence

Danny Windham, Digium

Bill Karpovich, Zenoss

Mark Brewer, Covalent

Gianugo Rabellini, Sourcesense

Bob Walter, Untangle

Paul Doscher, JasperSoft

Pete Childers, Zmanda

Rod Johnson, Interface 21

Harold Goldberg, Zend Technologies

Eero Teerikorpi, Continuent

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