Matt Asay: Making Utah a Center for Open-Source Innovation


Matt Asay is something of a fixture here in Utah and clearly a big booster of open source (he founded the Open Source Business Conference). He's giving the first keynote of the evening on bring open-source home (to Utah).

He uses Plato's Allegory of the Cave to talk about how many people aren't prepared to understand that FOSS is better and works. The prisoners, in this case, are traditional IT folks. This is changing; he points to a Gartner study showing people believe FOSS software is better.

FOSS achieves ubiquity through exceptional software, focus on the product to drive self-selected sales, low conversion rates on lots of leads, and superior service. FOSS developers worry about adoption first and protection later.

Ten open source vendors will do over $10 million in business this year.

Matt points out that major FOSS projects aren't from Silicon Valley--they're from all over: Sweden (MySQL), Atlanta (jBoss), Belgium (Drupal), or Alabama (Asterisk). You don't need to move to do open source. Open source is geography neutral. Developers are everywhere. Don't let anyone tell you that you have to move.