Don't be a wimp; learn to Gimp!

A Little Start-Up Success Story

Date/Time Permalink: 04/11/09 04:50:55 pm
Category: General

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Now before I start, I'd like to answer a question that might be on some of your minds: "Why aren't I sticking more to pure FOSS topics?" And the answer to that is, that tech start-ups tie into open source, especially when they're Internet-based. Open source is a unique enabler for entrepreneurs. Get it free, run it free, let it teach you and you can work on it for practice, and when you're ready, launch a business for darned near nothing.

The way I see it, the more Linux geeks I can guide towards being the next Sergey Brin, the more Linux wins. If we are to replace a ten-billionaire who runs a global monopoly, we must replace him with ten thousand millionaires scattered across the globe.

So, the story is Get Rich Slow and the interviewee talks about how he has this idea for a car review website (I was just lamenting the lack of such a site this month), so he went idea-shopping at 37Signals (I dunno about that Ruby, look out for the scale!), hired freelancers off of Elance and RentACoder (Hi, mom!), and got the site live in January and has now reached a modest profit point.

Due psalms are sung to Paul Graham in the article, and so on. What I like, though, is the snugly portrayal of freelancers and entrepreneur, with one offering a lower fee in exchange for a bite of the company profits. The Time article goes on about how a lean economy forces you to be smart and safe. If you can make it right now, you'll prosper when the fat times come again.

Your humble author can attest that the global online market right now feels just that way. Gone are the bubble-heads who are so stoned with bliss over their huge venture capital checks that they no longer care to drive the business. It's down to the lean, mean, and cautious now. There are fewer clients, but those few are also very serious business people. Less ego and more skill.

This is how FOSS wins, too. Not by being a charging elephant. But by being a million nimble, determined penguins.

Side note: And open source is small-business-friendly, unlike some software corporations.

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