Six Pathologies of Organisational Maturity

Maturing, successful organisations have recurrent, emergent patterns of failure that can sometimes be predicted and perhaps avoided.

Tree trunk absorbs spear tips of the fence next to it

Everything has a season, and as organisations age – communities, charities, companies, churches and more – they face similar diseases of time. These are emergent patterns of failure that arise not from mistakes but from the consequences of earlier success. In open source, we are seeing the same patterns emerge; this should not be a surprise. Continue reading

The Cost Of Open Sourcing Your Project

Accusing a company of “dumping” their project as open source is probably misplaced – it’s an expensive business no-one would do frivolously.

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If you see an active move to change software licensing or governance, it’s likely someone is paying for it and thus could justify the expense to an executive. Continue reading

Oracle Gets It Right: NetBeans Heads To Apache

In a surprise move, Oracle has submitted a proposal to the Apache Software Foundation Incubator to adopt the NetBeans IDE — written in Java, for Java — as an Apache project. The proposal is very well written, easy to understand and well worth reading. I was at Sun when it acquired NetBeans in 2000 and have been a fan of the project in varying degrees ever since. Here are my views about the move to Apache. Continue reading

HPE “Buys” SUSE & Offloads Its Legacy Software

In a move reminiscent of the departure of its consulting wing to CSC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) announced a complex transaction involving a reverse takeover of legacy software specialist Micro Focus PLC of the UK. They described it as a spin-off and merger. First they will create a spin-out company named Seattle SpinCo Inc comprising all the many enterprise software assets HP has accumulated over the years. That company will then merge with Micro Focus, who will pay for the transaction with $2.5 billion cash and a 50.1% equity stake. The result, expected to complete late in 2017, will be a company half owned and with a majoority of the board selected by HPE but still run by Micro Focus’ existing management and headquartered in the UK. Continue reading