Brad Feld

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Open Source as a Dumping Group

Feb 09, 2007
Category Technology

Cisco just announced that they are open sourcing their network access control client (known as Cisco Trust Agent.)  While on the surface it might seem like a generous move, Alan Shimel (at one of my portfolio companies – StillSecure) has a somewhat different point of view.

I’ve noticed an increasing trend of large companies embracing the open source movement by “open sourcing” their lousy software that doesn’t work very well and that has little to no adoption.  An optimist would say “this is good – at least the open source community can fix that crap.”  My view is that this just pollutes the efforts of companies that are legitimately trying to work effectively with open source communities.  “Open sourcing orphaned software” as a marketing strategy just doesn’t feel effective or useful to me.