Friday, January 4, 2013

The Growth Curve of FOSS --> what the best investors know

There hasn't been, and probably never will be, a nuclear bomb on the Timeline of Growth for Free and Open Source Software, no point where an earth-shattering radical shift occurs.
Big Bang / Atom Bomb CCO 1.0 Zdnrp

UEFI's SecureBoot may come close to Hiroshima levels, but my guess is that five years from now, it will have the "ripple equivalent" of the 1991 message to the Minix newsgroup that Linus sent about his "hobby" code.

It started innocently enough, but lead to massive change.

If you look at the timeline for Free and Open Source Software, you see slow, steady, and massive growth, same as anyone would want to see for a company, group, or idea they want to invest in. And by "invest" I am not referring to money. I am referring to invest as, "to use, give, or devote."

This slow and steady growth curve is the nickel-and-dime approach to growing a code base and I am a huge believer in the nickel-and-dime approach. There are three principles good investors understand:

Public Domain by EricFoard
1. Slow, steady growth is where you find the true winners -- ask Warren Buffet.

2. Don't give up. Patience pays. Don't stop supporting it just because it is not growing fast enough. Ask any good gardener.

3. It is the less obvious stock that is often the best pick.

So many of the GNU/Linux distros have been growing in the background, being used and built by Devs, Sys Admins, and generally good people, the geeks behind the scenes, which is the perfect place to grow.

As we have helped ZaReason grow as a hardware builder that supports FOSS, we have been happily surprised at how many of those blips on the map have directly helped people find ZaReason so they can get built-for-FOSS computers. Especially now that UEFI's SecureBoot is in full swing, we are extremely happy to be part of the world that helps get non-locked-down computers to people.

CC-Share Alike Unported 3.0 by Jawed
In fact, I just got a speaking gig at FOSDEM in Brussels, Belgium Feb 2 & 3 where I'll be talking about UEFI's SecureBoot. I'm hoping to cover CoreBoot and many other juicy details. There will be approx 5,000 of the most brilliant hackers at FOSDEM. We hope to see you there!

Dear developers, thank you for your work. Keep chugging along and we will too. Onward and Upward!