Ted Leung on the air
Ted Leung on the air: Open Source, Java, Python, and ...
Mon, 08 Mar 2004
SeaPIG Wednesday
This Wednesday is the monthly meeting of the Seattle Python User's Group. This is my first time, and I'm looking forward to meeting other Pythonistas in the Seattle area. Meeting time and location are on the site.
[22:26] | [places/us/wa/seattle] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post
Hundreds of bags
Doc disagrees with Cringely's article The Curse of the Hundred Bagger -- Why Venture Capitalists Are Paralyzed and Our Economy is Stagnant. Now I don't know about the whole VC thing. But there were some things in Cringe's piece that stood out to me, especially in the context of open source. Open source needs to move out of copy cat mode into innovation mode.
"In times of uncertainty," wrote Mac, "don't be Mark Twain ("Put all your eggs in one basket, and watch that basket!" -- it didn't work for him anyway). Instead, bet on serendipity -- don't invest in ONE big idea -- invest in 10 ideas that are your best guesses as to the widest range of possibly big ideas. You don't know but what the heck, NOBODY knows."
Make your bets lightly and widely. Having multiple people doing the same thing is not bad. Divergent micro forks are not bad. Stefano calls this software darwinism. Let the project that does the best job win.
The problem with finding that hundred bagger is that whatever you as a VC think you are investing in isn't what you think it is. That's because every startup -- EVERY STARTUP -- faces a crisis early-on and changes dramatically what it intends to do. So the smart VC invests more in the people than in the idea because the idea is going to change. And that means what you think is a hundred bagger will inevitably turn into something else
It's the people. Another way of saying this is: invest in the community. If you foster the right community, the community will figure out what to do when you reach that point of inevitability.

And stand on the shoulders of the giants that came before you (well, this one is worth a whole post of it's own)...

[22:07] | [computers/open_source] | # | TB | F | G | 0 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

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I work at the Open Source Applications Foundation (OSAF).
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