LinuxWorld has just named its top open source business leaders for 2008. I'm a little ashamed to acknowledge that I'm on the list.
"Ashamed" because I have such profound respect for Marten Mickos, Larry Augustin, Jonathan Schwartz, Stephen O'Grady and the Redmonk team, etc. that I think the LinuxWorld team must have made a mistake. Regardless, it is what it is. I would have had a slightly different list, but unreasonable minds can disagree. :-)
Without argument the economic effects of open source are likely to reach well beyond the cash paid for products and services. As the industry grows there are a select group of business leaders that are making the industry what it is today and will be responsible for the direction and success of the industry going forward.
To live up to that billing, I think we'd also need a few more:
Even in "retirement" I'd add Matthew Szulik who is such a beacon for many of us. I'd also add Eben Moglen because it is his legal vigilance that clears the way for open source to flourish as a business. Ditto for Mark Radcliffe who fuels the open-source startup pool with legal advice. Lonn Johnston at PageOne PR who gets their stories told. Glyn Moody and Matt Aslett for blogging them so expertly? I'd even include Richard Stallman because I can't think of a more ardent capitalist. Seriously. The GPL is a software capitalist's best friend.
Or what about Peter Fenton, David Skok, Kevin Harvey, Robin Vasan, and others who fund open source? Or other open-source CEOs who build viable businesses (Dave Rosenberg at MuleSource; John Powell at Alfresco; Javier Soltero at Hyperic; etc.)?
OK. OK. I guess any list is going to be imperfect and a list that includes everyone is...Google. I'm just proud to be named with such great leaders. We have a revolution to finish. Better get back to work.