Why Feedster Used Linux

November 1, 2005 at 6:48 pm | Posted in feedster, Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Scoble has, once again, an insightful piece:

As I’ve been going around the world I’ve been meeting with many people who’ve built their companies on non-Microsoft stuff. Some of whom have companies worth billions of dollars now. Some of whom you’ve never heard about unless you read TechCrunch. Here’s 12 reasons Web 2.0 entrepreneurs like Ross tell me that they aren’t using Microsoft’s stuff:

More…  (link on Ross added by me)

Robert pretty much nailed it.  And they’re quite similar to several of the points I made when I was interviewed by Information Week back in October.  Good stuff. 

One thing that’s particularly true with respect to Web 2.0 companies is that Web 2.0 stuff often starts just as “science experiments” and, since you need to deploy things out on the Internet for people to play with (and give your experiment feedback), Web 2.0 stuff tends to be built on open source tools.  That’s what happened with Feedster — I had a cheap box in a hosting center with Apache, PHP and MySQL and I built a search engine since someone posted on a blog “Wouldn’t be cool to have a search engine for RSS content”.  Now if I had to worry about software licensing and such, I almost certainly wouldn’t have.  Now it wasn’t just that open source was free — it was also the whole ecology of cheap hosting, downloadable source code, great online docs, etc.  And its really, really hard to see how Microsoft competes with that.

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9 Comments »

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  1. I agree, Scott. Having over the past couple of years built a 400 site distributed network of secure wireless infrastructure on OpenBSD, FreeRadius, OpenVPN, PostgreSQL, and Apache/PHP, I don’t think we could have survived startup with the kind of costs that would have been involved (including higher cpu, memory and storage requirements for our distributed appliance machines since if we were to use Windows we couldn’t have stripped the OS down as far as OpenBSD allows).

    We still use Windows for all of our Small Business / Office needs and for customer integration to stay in the comfort zone of our Fortune 100 clients, but our operational pillars are all Open Source.

    BTW – nice to see you resurface, Scott. I was looking for you back in May to no avail and thought you must have joined the witness protection program or something.

  2. Another important point is made by Simon Willison about controlling your own destiny:

    http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2005/11/01/destiny

    I would add to that – perhaps the most significant outcome of using Open Source for our solution is that we didn’t have to seek venture capital in order to take a run at launching our enterprise. This has resulted in us retaining full control of every aspect of the company while actually keeping our books in the black during our most aggressive growth.

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