I read a really interesting blog post this morning called Microsoft...Attacked By Killer Bees. Here's the idea:
"A hive of bees weighs just a couple of pounds. If a man were attacked by a single animal weighing just a few pounds…say a Killer Chihuahua, it wouldn’t be much of a contest. But 5 pounds of killer bees make a formidable assailant. They succeed by being many, being quicker, more agile and extremely determined." (Below the Bottom Line)
The point of this blog entry is that as Microsoft tries to shift from a software company to a media company, they are facing many small, but nimble competitors. "In other words, they’ll be surrounded by Killer Bees."
This got me thinking about how you could extend this line of thinking and apply it to the software market with open source software as the killer bee. As of 12:33 PM today, there were 118,717 registered open source projects hosted on SourceForge alone. Like the killer bee, there are many open source software projects that can move and respond quickly to changes in the environment. The larger software companies like Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP and others will continue to face tough competition from open source software. The software companies that are able to successfully embrace open source software, like IBM, will probably be in a better position to prosper in the long-term.
With killer bees and open source software, you might be able to swat a few down (or acquire them); however, more will come to take their place.