The Yin and Yang of Open Source Commerce - page 15
The question is not: "Will Linux make it in the SMB/SME market?", but rather "Who will be the successful entrepreneur who takes Linux into this market with a total business solution package that will capture the mind of the a needy and demanding market place that is keen to buy and willing to commit to the company that can deliver the goods?"
The bigger question is: "Do honesty and integrity in business pay dividends? Do customers care?" Too many business managers today compromise in this vital area and act as if unethical behavior, and callousness towards the customer are the most effective means of building a profitable business. I believe that we reap what we sow.
Open Source Software and Linux developers have delivered a technological wonder. The market is more than ready for the next step--that of taking the undeniably phenomenal business solutions that have been developed to the market that wants then in force. The problem does not rest with the technically brilliant people who have brought OSS technologies into being, they have made (and continue to make) their contribution to society. The challenge to create a viable business that can benefit from these great things rests with business entrepreneurs.
A self-perception that Linux is not ready for the SMB market is defeatist. If you believe that a small business can not compete with a large one, or that Linux businesses are too insignificant to compete with Microsoft (or any other large established vendor) this perception is self-fulfilling. It is tantamount to surrender before the battle has begun.
In every market, a new entrant who has a cunning new solution to an old problem will be resisted by existing players who view the encroachment on their turf with vitriol and disgust. The old guard will use every means available to resist change and to eliminate the offense of change. They will buy loyalties from anyone who is willing to surrender ethics and integrity to help stamp out the new kid on the block.
Every bully eventually poisons his own well, and eventually the customer/consumer will be motivated to resist coercion. Buyer's revenge is a sweet victory indeed.
Who will step up to the bar to change the market completely?
Do you have what it takes to match the needs of the moment?