Marten Mickos has summarized his rules for how to disrupt an industry. This is advice worth heeding, especially when you consider that many of the companies recently acquired (or invested in) at outsized valuations (Zimbra, Blue Lithium, SurfControl, Hyperion, TellMe, Fotolog, YouTube, Facebook, etc.) have one core thing in common:
Marten's first rule for disruptors is also perhaps the most important: Follow no model.
There used to be a well-worn path to software success: build a proprietary product, sell a perpetual license, make service contracts imperative, and release a new version every few years in what amounted to a "mandatory" upgrade. This model worked for more than two decades.
What changed?… Read more