Former JBoss executive to Red Hat: Don't rest on your laurels

Shaun Connolly, formerly an executive with JBoss/Red Hat, offers some interesting counsel to his former employer. In Shaun's view, Red Hat needs to "think big

Shaun Connolly, formerly an executive with JBoss/Red Hat, offers some interesting counsel to his former employer. In Shaun's view, Red Hat needs to "think big" if it wants to "lead big," and rigorously fight complacency:

...Red Hat needs to realize that past success does not guarantee future dominance. Red Hat needs to improve its ability to grow into new areas. It needs to make its ability to expand its footprint a strategic weapon.

Focusing purely on business as usual may yield some solid results over the coming year, but will ultimately result in decreased momentum...and the crowning of a new open source big dog.

This is what Jason Maynard used to say, and it's what some among us have been asking Red Hat to do: Lead . Red Hat's response to this is often, "We already are." Sort of.

When I last blogged about the importance of Red Hat leadership, I got a mild tongue-lashing by some within Red Hat. "What [open-source ISVs] all seem to want from Red Hat is our distribution to get them more sales." Perhaps.

Or perhaps not. I don't need Red Hat to make sales for me. I've never asked it to do so, either, though I do think that there is room for collaboration between Red Hat and several of the open-source companies. (Why, for example, did Red Hat never do much to encourage cooperation between it and MySQL? That seems like such a natural partnership and yet Red Hat treated MySQL like just another small ISV in its partnership program, at least this is how it appeared to me.)

Anyway, this isn't intended to be a rant against Red Hat. It is and long has been one of the companies I admire most. Perhaps for that very reason, however, I expect a great deal from it. "Big dog" type things, to use Shaun's phrase.

Tags:
Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.

     

    Join the discussion

    Conversation powered by Livefyre

    Show Comments Hide Comments
    Latest Galleries from CNET
    Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
    The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
    A roomy range from LG (pictures)
    This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
    Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
    Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)