There is a fine line between competing with partners and ensuring your company can continue to grow so it is strong enough to keep the R&D going to ensure your partners do well. Microsoft, SalesForce.com, Intel and now Digium all have to walk this line. I got to thinking about this when I read Tom Keating’s recent blog on the matter.
IMHO the reality is that Digium recently received funding and a new CEO. Invariably this means the company needs to generate revenue even faster as investors tend to expect such behavior. While Digium and all others listed above have to walk this fine line, in the end the open-source communications leader must grow. Will others in the open-source community possibly be unhappy at some acquisitions that Digium may make and some directions the company may go in? I would guess yes.
But in the end, the companies in the center of ecosystems make the entire ecosystem stronger when they grow. Digium will walk the fine line and potentially (like others above) do things that may upset some. In the end the ecosystem is more important than a single company. The same theory applies to bees who give their lives when they sting to protect the hive.
I do realize this is an area of tremendous passion so feel free to comment below or e-mail me with thoughts. Please let me know if I can share your thoughts in my blog if you e-mail.