Showing posts from April, 2013

Carrot or Stick?

We were so lucky to have Peter, Kesuma and Saingiore visit us from Tanzania last night.  Peter founded the Orkeeswa School  in a rural Maasai village.  My daughter, Allison, taught at the school last year.  It is an incredible place, filled with smart, enthusiastic students. The big discussion topic last night was people's rights in primary school (Orkeeswa is a Secondary School - only 7% of Tanzanians get to go to secondary school).  Kesuma holds the belief that it is OK for the teachers to cane students.  This is a very common practice in Tanzania, and reminded me of stories of my Catholic School friends.  It sounds a bit harsher and more frequent in Tanzania.  Kesuma believed that it was the right of the teacher, and it made the students do better. Saingiore held deep reservations about this practice.  He has started to help as a teacher in a primary school, and he does not use the stick.  He did say there was some peer pressure from his colleagues to use the stick and so

Crossing Cloud and Open Source Business Models

I am working with two other people on launching a new company in a couple of months.  I've been thinking a lot over the past several years on taking some of the lessons learned in open source and implementing them with a cloud based model.  We are going to try something that is a bit new... The Old Open Source Business Model.  Red Hat spawned the basic idea that most open source companies have used.  Come out with a great open source project that gets used by a lot of people.  Then develop some proprietary value-add, wrap a service layer with that and sell it as a subscription.  A percentage of the free users will find the value-add useful and pay you for it.   Freemium Model.  This is a slight deviation on the open source model.  Don't share the code, but offer up a free version with a for pay version with higher value and a service offering of support. Enter the Cloud.  So far the Cloud has been viewed as a simple extension of the computing environment that O