Red Hat IPO

Marco Anglesio mpa at
Mon Aug 16 09:02:13 PDT 1999

On Thu, 12 Aug 1999, Doug Henwood wrote:

> So what do you Linux fans out there make of Red Hat going public? How
> can you make money distributing free, open source software? Is it one
> of the final acts of the mania that anyone would buy the
> stock?

You can make money distributing anything. I think that Red Hat takes it a step further; you pay your fifty bucks and buy the Red Hat box set for the documentation (I think it comes with a manual) and the support. If you want more support, you pay more for it. It's a business model as old as the hills (well, perhaps not that old, but certainly as old as Big Blue - the cost of hardware and software has always been tiny compared to the cost of keeping it running).

The speculative aspect is that RedHat is so strongly tied to linux (the major package management system is "RedHat Package Manager", or rpm) that the market penetration of Linux must increase if RedHat is to survive. There's little chance of a second chance for RedHat; they're just not big enough to swing it.

Red Hat could be mania (there's certainly an aspect of it there, especially with RH's purchase of the domain name and the recent revamping of the RH site). My opinion is that this is merely the icing on the cake.


> | The further I get <
> Marco Anglesio | from the things I care about <
> mpa at | The less I care <
> | how much further away I get <
> | --Robert Smith <

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