Former MySQL CEO Mickos Says Open Source Needs More Money Flow

by Ostatic Staff - Mar. 26, 2010

While commercial open source projects have been picking up steam in recent years, as have mergers and acquisitions surrounding them, former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos is convinced that more companies need to be making money from open source. Speaking at the EclipseCon 2010 conference, Mickos acknowledged that many large commercial software companies such as IBM and Oracle are funding open source efforts, but said that more new companies need to be producing viable open source business models. Among other things, Mickos' comments may underscore what his initial role will be in his new position as CEO of Eucalyptus Systems.

As TechWorld reports, Mickos said:

"Hopefully, there will be great, great startups as well who will make millions and billions of dollars but that's actually where we haven't really reached victory yet. We have had a handful of great financial successes in open source [such as] Red Hat, JBoss, MySQL, XenSource, but it isn't enough."

Mickos also said that part of the reason MySQL kicked off so much open source code for community use was that revenues from it were constant. Mickos himself has some big commercial open source challenges ahead of him as he takes over as CEO of cloud computing-focused Eucalyptus Systems. As GigaOM has noted, one of Mickos' first jobs at Eucalyptus may be raising capital. The company has nearly $6 million in venture funding but needs to scale in order to compete with big players in the cloud. Mickos was an EIR at Benchmark Capital previously, and oversaw the $1 billion sale of the MySQL database division to Sun Microsystems, prior to Sun's acquisition by Oracle. He understands how big sums of money and open source can converge.

And there's one of the more interesting things about Mickos' appointment as CEO of Eucalyptus Systems. Just as companies of all stripes have always brought in stars at the top to attract capital and improve valuations, the overseers of significant commercial open source projects may increasingly be proven movers of large sums of money.

Photo credit: Business Wire.