20th Was the Century of Technology; 21st is the Century of Marketers

Before: Century of Technology

At the end of the last century, those who had accumulated the most brilliant technological inventions became the leaders of the world of enterprise software today.
Oracle, IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and hundreds of other successful companies have created the industry based on proprietary Intellectual Property (IP) and patents.

What has the open source movement done for the industry? Apache, Linux (in the server market), and Sendmail have commoditized their product categories. Eclipse has changed Borland’s IDE business. jBoss and MySQL are more often in a replacement business instead of going only after non-users who can’t afford commercial solutions.

Can you imagine what open source will do during the next decade to the enterprise software industry?

Now: Century of Marketers

In the past, engineers and companies with the best patented technologies were the ones who received funding and developed the best products. Today, we see an array of open source companies creating products and “application stacks” using IP developed by the community.

In the last century, Intellectual Property creation and engineering were core business activities to software vendors; today, IP creation and marketing is core, but IP engineering is not. From a VC perspective, startups are not fundable unless they are ready to outsource IP engineering.

The software companies who best communicate the value of their solution to the audience, be it the end user, the community, or the enterprise customer, are sure to be the winners as the industry moves into the next economic cycle.

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1 comment to “20th Was the Century of Technology; 21st is the Century of Marketers”

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