Linux in Government: Providing a Successful Model for OSS Enterprise Users and Linux Companies
Not too many years ago, I had an encounter with a subordinate who reported to me and another manager. I considered the event unpleasant, worthy of dismissal, so I met with the other boss to discuss it. During that discussion ,the question of coachability came up. We reached a consensus that perhaps we lacked the ability to coach our subordinate. We later met with the young man and asked him what it would take for us to coach him. Knowing his job sat on the bubble, the young man at first professed an eagerness for coaching but then finally admitted no one could coach him. He said that he was not coachable. At that moment, I knew the opposite was true, and over time he became an excellent manager himself.
Allowing oneself to become coachable requires what I sometimes call an existential moment of courage. It requires an ability to allow someone else to reach us with our defenses down and to admit we do not know something. It also requires a high degree of self confidence and knowledge that we need to have the same courage and vulnerability each time our need for coaching surfaces.
Bob Dylan once wrote, "he not busy being born/Is busy dying". Most people interpret that to mean the when we stop growing and learning, we start the final journey of our lives.
People who reach a certain level of competency in any field often forget that learning and growing continue to be requirements for excelling. For that reason, we all need to find strong models of success to emulate. The most successful man I ever met told me that he spent every moment he could studying the lives of great men. That man once served as the Chief of Staff to Dwight D. Eisenhower.
In the emerging industry we call open source, finding people to emulate does not come easily. One company in particular, however, has demonstrated a successful commercial model, about which few Linux people know and fewer understand. When I mention the name JBoss, I'm surprised by how few Linux advocates and government CIOs have much awareness of the project or the company.
On Freshmeat, you can find this description of JBoss:
JBoss is an Open Source, standards-compliant, Enterprise JavaBeans application server implemented in pure Java. JBoss provides JBossServer, the basic EJB container and JMX infrastructure, JBossMQ for JMS messaging, JBossMail for mail, JBossTX for JTA/JTS transactions, JBossSX for JAAS based security, JBossCX for JCA connectivity, and JBossCMP for CMP persistence. It integrates with Tomcat Servlet/JSP container and Jetty Web server/servlet container, and enables you to mix and match these components through JMX by replacing any component you wish with a JMX-compliant implementation for the same APIs. The goal is to provide a full J2EE stack in the Free/Open Source software world.
This description tells us little, though, about a company that now owns the market in which IBM's Websphere and BEA's WebLogic once fought each other for control of the J2EE application server space. How did an open-source company that gives away its product with an LGPL license and that allows developers to bundle, include and redistribute freely its software in their own products become the industry bell-weather? In answering that question, you basically answer what everyone has been asking open-source software: How do you make money with a straight Free Software license?
Figure 1 provides a visual depiction of JBoss's growth. Last summer, I conducted an interview with the founder of JBoss, Marc Fleury. I learned that as with most open-source advocates, he started the company in a garage, set up a project, attracted like-minded developers and strove toward building and releasing working software.
Unlike other open-source projects, however, Fleury began generating revenue by offering training and personal support. He worked to train developers to use his product and answered their questions when they ran into trouble. While providing an income for himself, he also established a community of interest that ultimately blossomed into a robust Open Source community.
Fleury's initial activities as a small consultancy may provide the point of delineation between JBoss and other similar ventures. In fact, my own success in business occurred when I began offering training, seminars and a lot of content about my products, waiting patiently for the business to develop.
Fleury solved the problem that we often hear about open-source companies and projects: He provided people with clear information on how to use the software and always was ready to help. Contrast that with projects in which you're expected to find information from mailing lists or forums--the same forums in which you are blasted for asking questions already answered in a previous thread.
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Seashore||May 10, 2013|
|Trying to Tame the Tablet||May 08, 2013|
- Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- New Products
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This
- A Topic for Discussion - Open Source Feature-Richness?
- Home, My Backup Data Center
- New Products
- Readers' Choice Awards
- RSS Feeds
- Automatically updating Guest Additions
34 min 18 sec ago
- I like your topic on android
1 hour 20 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
1 hour 41 min ago
- This is the easiest tutorial
7 hours 56 min ago
- Ahh, the Koolaid.
13 hours 34 min ago
- git-annex assistant
19 hours 34 min ago
- direct cable connection
19 hours 57 min ago
- Agreed on AirDroid. With my
20 hours 7 min ago
- I just learned this
20 hours 11 min ago
20 hours 41 min ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Prototyping Pi Plate Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- Next winner announced on 5-21-13!
Free Webinar: Linux Backup and Recovery
Most companies incorporate backup procedures for critical data, which can be restored quickly if a loss occurs. However, fewer companies are prepared for catastrophic system failures, in which they lose all data, the entire operating system, applications, settings, patches and more, reducing their system(s) to “bare metal.” After all, before data can be restored to a system, there must be a system to restore it to.
In this one hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for better disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible bare-metal recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.