Posts tagged inside

Inside Red Hat’s Magical Mystery Open-Source Sausage Factory

Facebook may be the biggest contributor to open-source software communities, but Red Hat is hands-down the world’s most successful open-source software business. Despite this success, it’s “surprising” that no other companies have really attempted to replicate its model, as Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told me in an interview this week.

Surprising? Perhaps. But partly it’s because few understand the nuances of why Red Hat’s model works, and where. Whitehurst, being an open source guy, was happy to share.

Open Source As The Competitive Advantage

Most “open-source companies” have downplayed open source for years and instead tout their capabilities in specific fields like customer-relationship management, databases or whatever. Whitehurst says Red Hat is not a cloud company (OpenStack), not an operating system company (Linux) and not a  middleware company (JBoss). It’s an open-source company. 

This isn’t just semantics.

As Whitehurst suggests, “Every company really needs to understand its source of competitive advantage” and not simply “look around for big markets” where they may not have such an advantage. Red Hat, Whitehurst insists, “knows how to catalyze open-source communities.” That’s Red Hat’s core differentiator from every other major vendor.

It’s a bit like Toyota, he goes on. Toyota’s source of competitive advantage is entirely built around a production system called kaizen, which means “continuous improvement.” This has led Toyota to start in small cars but then to expand to a wide variety of other manufacturing, with kaizen at the heart of all its actions.

Red Hat’s advantage also revolves around a production system. Instead of building cars Red Hat builds and orchestrates open-source software.  Given the breadth of open-source software and its increasing importance to the markets that matter, “this means [Red Hat has] the potential to be involved in a lot of areas,” Whitehurst says.

Focusing On The Right Things

However, Whitehurst continues, “just because we have the capability to be involved in lots of areas doesn’t mean that we can simultaneously execute well in all of them.” 

Unlike Oracle, which has made a practice of buying fully-formed companies with built-in sales and marketing machines, Red Hat has  tended to “buy technologies which [we] then have to push through our sales force and other business infrastructure.”

Which is why, Whitehurst suggests, Red Hat has hitherto not delved deeply into Big Data and other juicy markets. While acknowledging Big Data is a “fast-growing area and a hot topic,” Red Hat must always ask “whether our sales force and our distribution channels can effectively embrace these along with OpenStack and our existing commitments.”

3 Keys To Red Hat Success

So Red Hat’s focus is on catalyzing open-source communities in a manageable number of big markets. Given that it gives away all of its code under open-source licenses, I asked Whitehurst to divulge how Red Hat turns code into cash.

It turns out that there are three secrets to Red Hat’s success.

The first is simply brand. Over the years Red Hat has cultivated a brand that CIOs trust. For many companies, for example, the difference between Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and SUSE Linux or Ubuntu is simply the confidence Red Hat’s brand conveys. It’s not yet true that “no one ever got fired for buying Red Hat”—what people used to say about buying from IBM—but it’s not far off.

Perhaps more importantly, however, are “two components in Red Hat’s DNA” that drive enterprises to want to buy from the open source leader. 

First, Red Hat “knows how to get stuff done in open-source communities.” In other words, when enterprises need a patch to Linux, Red Hat is adept at getting it upstream into the kernel. Red Hat’s competitors might be able to make the fix, but, Whitehurst stresses: 

It’s not just a matter of fixing a problem but rather of doing it the right way: the open-source way. You can’t just demand that the community do things. You have to know how to persuade and work with them. This gives them confidence that you can move necessary changes upstream.

Second, over the years Red Hat has learned where its model fits, and has become selective about the kinds of open-source software it turns into products. The Red Hat model fits a platform like an operating system (or cloud platform like OpenStack), for example, but less so a framework like Spring. 

“We must have some sort of a runtime that needs a stable life,” Whitehurst explains,” or when there’s something that people want to certify to” like RHEL.

Your Mileage May Vary

Small wonder, then, that Wells Fargo analyst Jason Maynard cites Red Hat as “one of the best-positioned software vendors for long-term growth.” Maynard echoes Whitehurst, positing that Red Hat “has evolved into a diversified provider of open source infrastructure solutions, with the potential for high-teens to 20% plus top-line growth long term, in our view.”

But whether Red Hat’s model works for you depends largely on the nature of your business. I’ve worked for a variety of open source companies over nearly 15 years, and have opted for a Red Hat-like model at most of them. True to Whitehurst’s finding for Red Hat, the model hasn’t worked particularly well in application frameworks or even in Linux if you’re not building out a certification ecosystem. 

So your mileage may vary. But for Red Hat, it seems to offer the open-source leader many years of continued growth.

Photo by Paul Frields

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Intel Inside Our Closets


ReadWriteBody is an ongoing series where ReadWrite covers networked fitness and the quantified self.

 And then there was the time when Intel CEO Brian Krzanich started unbuttoning his shirt on stage.

The boss of the giant chipmaker stopped several buttons short of any risqué moves, but he wanted to show Recode’s Walt Mossberg, who was interviewing him at the Code Conference earlier this week in Los Angeles, what he was wearing underneath: a bicycling jersey wired up with steel threads and sensors that could read his heart rate and other vital signs.

Wiring Up What We Wear

Call it the Internet of Threads: Intel wants to get inside clothing, one of many new markets it’s exploring.

The Smart Shirt prototype Krzanich wore used an Edison chip to process signals off of the jersey, made by Intel partner AIQ Smart Clothing. Edison is Intel’s big bet on the wearables market, an all-in-one chipset that inventors can take off the shelf to start building devices with connectivity without having to put all of the silicon parts together themselves.

Krzanich also showed an app that picked up his heart rate from the shirt.

“I’m relatively calm for being up on stage,” Krzanich said. “Uh oh, now my heart rate’s going up.”

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich shows Recode editor Walt Mossberg a heart-rate app linked to a shirt with wearable technology inside.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich shows Recode editor Walt Mossberg a heart-rate app linked to a shirt with wearable technology inside.

Intel is developing a new technology called Gossamer, a combination of hardware and software that’s especially good at processing heart-rate data. That could be useful: As I’ve found, the quality of heart-rate data varies wildly from device to device and app to app, and different companies take different approaches to handling the variations people see.

Basis, a smartwatch maker Intel recently acquired, tries to smooth out heart-rate variations to get a useful reading over a long period of time, at the cost of moment-to-moment accuracy. Under Armour’s Armour39 tries to capture the spikes elite athletes can generate when they launch right into an intense workout.

A Struggle To Fit Into Clothes 

The challenge Intel will face is signing up wearable inventors, who so far have preferred to tweak every last bit of their hardware and software to extend battery life and get the right experience for users.

The right decisions if you’re targeting runners and cyclists might not work out for people who prefer to work out inside a gym. And devices that target the athletic demographic may not work well for other markets. Krzanich brought up the example of providing Smart Shirts to elderly people living in nursing homes, to better monitor their health.

Fashion being fashion, it’s unlikely that a device targeted for the geriatric set will appeal to avid runners (like Krzanich himself).

I asked Stéphane Marceau, CEO of OMsignal, a maker of smart shirts whose first products are coming out this summer, what he thought of Intel’s move. Would OMsignal put Intel inside its shirts one day? He shared these thoughts:

Hey, we just source the best components in order to deliver the best Biometric Smartwear to our consumers.  So far, the only way to effectively harness biosignal “from skin to insights” and to deliver a seamless consumer product has been for us to develop our own architecture/software and source a variety of specialized components.  For now, we are very full stack. However, we are totally open to working with leading partners like Intel and others in the future. 

Smart clothing for consumers is a new category. It involves a product that is hard to do well and involves a lot of seamless integration (even across different mediums). It is probably not atypical for a new category to start with a very “vertically integrated” value chain and then eventually modularize, to gradually open and then partly disaggregate.

 So Intel may have a shot. But right now, with wearable clothing as a very nascent market, it may be too early. There aren’t enough customers—either in the fashion business or as consumers—for smart clothing to be a business like PCs, with one kind of chip inside most devices.

And most people are very cost-sensitive in buying clothes. So if tech-enabled apparel does develop into a mass market, it’s not clear there will be big profits in it. In Krzanich’s hunt for big new markets, this may not be a good fit. 

Feature photo via AIQ Smart Clothing; photo of Walt Mossberg and Brian Krzanich by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite

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Google’s “Step Inside AdWords” News: Features For App Ads, More UI Tools, No Wild Surprises

Anticipation has been running high among paid search marketers about what today’s AdWords announcement — dubbed “Step Inside AdWords — might hold, since Google began teasing the news. However, any fears of drastic changes in the vein of last year’s move to enhanced…



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SearchCap: Recapping Google’s “Step Inside AdWords” News Event

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: Search Marketers: Keep Calm, Carry On Everybody loves progress, but nobody likes change. This adage is particularly true any time Google announces major upgrades…



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6 Key Components to Improving Your Self Storage SEO – Inside Self-Storage (blog)


BRW
6 Key Components to Improving Your Self Storage SEO
Inside Self-Storage (blog)
If your local audience is having trouble finding your self-storage facility online, you are likely missing some core values of search engine optimization (SEO). Following is a list of key SEO components and tips to help you improve the search rankings
Throwing money at Google never hurt: how to make pay-per-click and search BRW

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A Peek Inside a Social Media Marketer’s Toolbox: The Best Free Apps You Didn’t Know Exist by @laurenmonitz

A magician is only as impressive as their tricks, a wizard is only as magical as their sorcery, and a social media marketer is only as good as their toolbox. Here’s a peek at some of the best free programs I use regularly to track, growth hack, and monitor our social media channels (no affiliation). […]

Author information

Lauren Monitz

Lauren Monitz has been doing Online Marketing for over six years and has a Master’s in E-business strategy. She is an avid Bears and Broncos fan, and even likes Jay Cutler (don’t hold it against her).

The post A Peek Inside a Social Media Marketer’s Toolbox: The Best Free Apps You Didn’t Know Exist by @laurenmonitz appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Quixey Offering Deeper Search Results Inside Mobile Apps

Quixey, which describes itself as a search engine for apps rather than an alternative app store, has announced deeper “functional search” within apps. Previously Quixey allowed app discovery by keyword or category, delivering users to the “front door” of relevant apps. Now…



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Storage West Self Storage Director to Speak on SEO During Search Marketing … – Inside Self-Storage

Storage West Self Storage Director to Speak on SEO During Search Marketing
Inside Self-Storage
Willis has nearly 15 years of search engine optimization (SEO) and Internet-marketing experience. “As a strong believer in purpose-driven branding, I look forward to sharing the tactics that have built Storage West into a leader in the regional self
Boost Traffic, Rank, Engagement & Sales – Attend SMX West In Two Weeks!Search Engine Land

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Centreforce Technology Releases SEO/SEM Website Dashboard for Self … – Inside Self-Storage

Centreforce Technology Releases SEO/SEM Website Dashboard for Self
Inside Self-Storage
Self-storage software provider Centreforce Technology has released a custom marketing dashboard through its WebStor division to assist customers in improving the search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) of their websites.

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