Why Linux succeeds while other open source projects fail

From the ‘Strategies for Success‘ files:

One persistent topic that crops up at many open source conferences is a discussion of what it takes to be successful.

At the LinuxCon conference (Webcast from Portland), Intel’s Dirk Hohndel, chief Linux and open source technologist, gave what I thought was one of the best versions of the ‘how to be successful in open source’ talks I’ve ever heard.

Hohndel used Linux as his model for how to be successful.

His basic premise is that a combination of innovation, vision, focus and persistence are the keys to success. If you’re lacking in any of those key areas, the project isn’t likely to succeed.

“Whenever you think you found a niche, you  will find that someone else is already doing it,” Hohndel said.

“Linus is not the first to come up with an open source operating system but he managed to shine. When it comes to vision there are lots of missionaries out there, I can’t turn on the TV without meeting 25 of them.”

Hohndel added that vision is critical but it’s easy because anyone can make stuff up. You need the competence to implement and you need to know how to get to where you want.

It makes a lot of sense to me.

Ideas alone just aren’t enough if you don’t have the skills and determination to build momentum.

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