Notice

Just a reminder, these posts are not legal advice. This site is the personal blog of Mark Radcliffe and the opinions expressed are those of Mark Radcliffe and not those of his clients, DLA Piper or the clients of DLA Piper.

About Me:

Mark Radcliffe

I have been practicing law in Silicon Valley for over thirty years assisting startups and global companies develop and market innovative products and services. I have participated in multiple business cyles in Silicon Valley from hardware to software to internet to cloud. My projects have included developing the dual licensing business model for open source startup, developing the original domain dispute resolution policy for NSI and assisting Sun in open sourcing the Solaris operating system. Recently, I served on the US Japan Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council (one of ten members) to develop a plan to encourage the innovation in Japan and the United States. I have been working with the same attorneys since 1986 although we have merged with other law firms several times. I am now a partner at DLA Piper, a (relatively) new global law firm formed in 2005 from the merger of three law firms. The firm now has 4200 lawyers in 31 countries and 77 cities. My experience in corporate securities (particularly venture capital) and intellectual property enables me to assist companies structure the financing and intellectual property strategy for developing ane exploiting a new product or service. I and my team work with fifty startups at one time as well as Global Fortune 100. I have been fortunate enough to work with companies in software, cloud computing, semiconductor, health care IT and Web 2.0.

Recently, Trip Chowdry, a Silicon Valley pundit, predicted (as reported in Barrons): ’”‘almost every’ VC funded open-source company is struggling and will run out of funds within the next 6 months”  http://blogs.barrons.com/techtraderdaily/2008/11/10/trippin-with-trip-one-mans-view-of-carnage-to-come/.  I share Matt Asay’s scepticism.  http://news.cnet.com/8301-13505_3-10094221-16.html

Based on my experience with the open source startups who are my clients, Trip is simply wrong. In fact, I have been involved in two different open source venture fundings in the last thirty days. At worst, no more than 10% of the open source startups that I represent are in difficult straits. I have been working with startups for over twenty five years (and remember about half of all startups fail over time), this percentage is hardly unusual.

Bill Snyder makes some interesting points about the differentiation between open source companies and other technology companies (particularly Web 2.0 companies) http://weblog.infoworld.com/tech-bottom-line/archives/2008/11/nuclear_winter.html. I think that the open source companies will thrive in the current market because of their lower cost (critical as IT budgets shrink). However, open source is not business magic and open source companies need to manage their resources and costs carefully.

 

 

2 Comments

  1. [...] See the rest here: Law &a&#109p; Life: Silicon &#86alley » Ru&#109ors of t&#104e De&#109ise of Open Source &#8230… [...]

    Pingback by Law & Life: Silicon Valley » Rumors of the Demise of Open Source … | GapTech — November 16, 2008 @ 3:12 pm

  2. [...] Rumors of the Demise of Open Source Startups: Greatly Exaggerated Mark Radcliffe, Law & Life: Silicon Valley [...]

    Pingback by 451 CAOS Theory » 451 CAOS Links 2008.11.18 — November 18, 2008 @ 7:43 am

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