MySQL Profits From Open Source

Linux is still the most famous open-source app, but database software using the same model is getting some play. MySQL is giving established software firms a run for their money. By Joanna Glasner. [Wired News]


MySQL (Seattle) raised $19 million in venture capital last year, has 4,000 customers (who pay to use the MySQL database and not contribute their code as open source) and made $10 million in revenue last year. Not bad for an open source company.


I’ll be attending an Open Source conference in San Francisco next month to learn how Open Source companies are making money. I’m personally very interested in Open Content projects such as DMOZ and Wikipedia. Some people say “information wants to be free.” I don’t believe that as a universal rule. I believe that some people want information to be free and other people want to charge for it. There are enough consumers of information in the world that both models can work. Both of my successful content companies (Infobases and Ancestry.com) started by aggregating public domain information and making it accessible to large numbers of consumers. But as we grew, we added premium content, licensed from copyright holders. Our success came because we added value to information by making it easier to find and use than ever before.


I do like the shorter term of patents (14-20 years) vs. copyright (life of author plus 70 years). I think it is very unfortunate that copyrights extend so long. Clearly, the copyright laws have been modified based on pressure from large media companies. Individual authors and artists don’t need protection to last 2-3 generations after they are deceased. The original 28 years coverage given to copyright holders under the 1790 law was good and maybe as life expectancy increased it increased to 42 then 56 years. But the new laws favor large corporate interests and not the common good.

Leave a Reply

Share:

More Posts

Soar.com Logo Design

Some of you know that my partners and I are launching a new company that aims to help a billion or more people soar with

Cold Showers Can Benefit Your Health

I hated what I read in the Harvard Business Review last Friday: Cold showers have health benefits. I’ve always ignored people who advocate taking cold

People Like Me Need People Like You

“People Like Me Need People Like You” Someday I’ll write a book about Ancestry.com. I’ll highlight the people who built Ancestry from the ground up–unsung

The Team Coaching Zone Podcast

To listen to this podcast, click HERE. Announcer: Welcome to the Team Coaching Zone podcast. Join your host Dr. Krister Lowe and today’s leading organizational

My Favorite Artist

Artists, poets, and prophets can help us make sense of the craziness that we experience in the world. My favorite artist is Regina Spektor. When

The Coach You Need

When you need a helping hand in life or at work you might decide to hire a coach. There are many amazing executive, career, leadership,

Beware of Taking Advice

Next Friday I get to deliver a keynote at Phoenix’s biggest startup event. But beware of taking advice from me–or anyone else. Startup events are

An Entrepreneurial Superpower

One of my entrepreneurial superpowers is asking questions at scale. Before I started Ancestry I went to libraries and conferences and asked questions. I learned

Paul hopes to bring the strengths message to all 50 states and to 50 countries by 2025.
Contact him so he can help you spark a strengths movement in your area, company, or industry.