Open Source M&A 2009: A Validation of the Model

One of the biggest validations to the commercial open source model was Sun Microsystems purchase of MySQL for $1 billion this time last year. In many ways, the purchase proved how the model is so effective at simply building and selling products more efficiently, in addition to allowing startups to enter markets faster and make their impact felt.

I mention this because I took note of today’s New York Times article about continued M&A in the open source market, and its reference to the accompanying report by The 451 Group.

Moving forward, there’s a lot of close source vendors that have either or are considering “opening up,” either internally or through the acquisition of an open source project. The added benefit is that even if they acquire an open source project or startup that doesn’t lead to commercial success, the lessons learned from managing a community will pay dividends down the road.

The concept of community-driven and developed software has officially taken hold, and deals such as these, either small or big, will only help drive that point home.

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