The Metric for Any Open Source Project…

In a talk with Raph Levien today he said:

[basically] “… the metric for the success of an open source software project is whether the author now works at Google.”

… nearly everything I’ve ever written fails to pass this test.

Hopefully someone from Google’s M&A department can help me remedy this situation. (hint hint)

  1. Hrm….cute, but I would say the opposite….

    For someone who writes open source software, they likely start it in their spare time. Which means they have spare time.

    When a person works for Google, their “spare time” projects are basically their “10-20%” projects. I think it’s wonderful for Google to encourage folks to create software in their spare time — but then Google owns the software.

    I have a MySQL podcast….I’m sure that if I worked for Google, I could use better equipment, and research for the show during my working hours….but then instead of working 50 hours a week and having the rest of the time as “mine” (even if it is spent researching and producing a podcast), I’d work 100 hours a week and the podcast would be in my “10-20%” time.

    And I wouldn’t own it. Google would….

  2. As an entrepreneur and developer, my goal is to build software that people love, and pay for. I have no interest in working for a big company, its not what most entrepreneurs are built out to do

  3. I agree Nik……. it was mostly a joke :)


  4. I grew up just down the road from Raph. Say hi to him for me if you see him. (I don’t really know him anymore; but he will probably remember “Baron Schwartz”).

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