Simon Phipps on Open Source and OpenSolaris

Nice Q&A here with Simon Phipps in the Inner Circle Newsletter — OpenSolaris — what it means for you talking about OpenSolaris and generally. Here’s my favorite part:

IC: How do you explain the momentum behind open source?

SP: Open source is a virtuous cycle. Creating a source commons and sharing code among a group of developers creates reciprocal value. The software is used and maintained by a group of developers who build products, create offerings, and compose works that are of value to them and may be of social value and perhaps they are paid for creating those products and offerings. What is more, in the process of creating those things, the software craftspeople contribute innovation and value back into the source code commons that everyone is relying on.

IC: How does this virtuous cycle reflect the values at Sun?

SP: That virtuous cycle is motivated by the desire for improvement. And, the motive to keep development costs to a minimum serves everybody in the cycle. The Sun approach to the computer industry has been marked by a desire to create markets in which Sun can be successful and profitable. Sun does not believe that the way to be successful is to kill the competition and create a monopoly. Sun believes that if you create markets and you have a share in those markets, you can keep those markets growing, and your profitability and success will continue to grow.

For Sun, the open source model is an extremely natural vehicle for business success and ongoing innovation. The more people that join, the more potential there is for all of the participants to derive value from the shared work that everyone is collaborating on. For Sun, the open source message is a very natural 21st century expression of how Sun has been doing business for more than 20 years.

That last sentence says it all, don’t you think?