Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Bad Days Don't Begin with Bon Jovi

Yes, I am an aging 80s metal fan.... This morning I was driving down the highway in the sunshine listening to some classic Bon Jovi (You Give Love a Bad Name, Livin' on a Prayer, Bad Medicine and a few others) at an obnoxiously loud volume having a great time. All of this before any coffee.... If you're into metal and have not put those tracks into your iPod, I'd strongly recommend it!

So, here I was driving along, doing my best lip-sync/air guitar at 85 MPH (As David Letterman would say, "Kids, don't do this at home") thinking about how the MP3 music format has completely disrupted the music industry. FM radio stations are dying - why listen to what the station is playing if you have all of your songs on your iPod? Proprietary music formats have transformed the recording industry distribution system by being tied to Internet distribution (see iPod/iTunes/AAC and Microsoft IPTV/WMA) and it all started with the conversion of music to open formats. Basically, an open format changed industry and made new business and distribution models possible. It did not hurt that the compression and encoding technology for MP3 resulted in portable music (it can fit on a CD or on a Flash card) that sounds pretty damn good to my ears at full volume screaming down the highway.

Then I realized that we're essentially doing the same thing with Vyatta and the OFR. We're transforming the closed and proprietary world of networking products and producing an open networking solution that is easily portable to many different devices (today all x86-based systems). It may turn out that folks take the OFR and produce proprietary versions of it embedded within their solutions. Others may want to take the OFR and use it with our support packages. Time will tell - we're just at the beginning here. The key in my mind is that we've opened up the industry and are forcing folks to consider an alternative to what previously existed. I imagine about 10 years ago some record producer scoffed at the idea of distributing individual songs over the Internet for less then $1. And I am sure that some folks in the proprietary, closed networking companies are scoffing at Vyatta right now.

It's okay, I'm listening to Bon Jovi and having a great time!


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