The OSS Christmas tree

Digital platforms are worthless without content. They’re shiny sacks with bells and whistles, but without content, they’re empty sacks. It is not about pixels versus print. It is not about how you’re reading. It is about what you’re reading.”
Maureen Dowd

In a recent post, we talked about the merits of vertical vs horizontal code branching. We’ve also recently discussed ecosystems as being a possible future mode of operation for OSS vendors.

While discussing these two posts with a colleague, Paul Juodkazis, he suggested that the ecosystem model was perhaps akin to a Christmas tree. He made a great point. As shown in the diagram below, the Christmas tree does represent the OSS ecosystem well. The ecosystem vendor gets to focus on building the main line of code towards an openly publicised road-map, whilst an ecosystem of other vendors contributes the plugins, the bells and whistles that give OSS customers the solutions they need.
OSS Christmas Tree

The adept customers will even be able to develop their own plugins and potentially sell them (or share them) on the plugin marketplace that is part of the OSS ecosystem.

More tomorrow on the second ecosystem layer that was alluded to in “Owning the OSS market.”

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