It became axiomatic in the 90’s that no investor will support a project in Microsoft’s market space unless it seemed likely that Microsoft would buy it. A decade later we’re on the cusp of an extension of that doctrine: “Don’t invest in anything in the Open Source market space. Period.” Since all code is subject to the open source effect, does that leave any bets on the table? (There might be a Kapor Corollary to this rule, which might sound like:“The only fun in software is investing in world-class open source projects.”)
This evolution from a diverse software ecosystem through the 90s’ Microsoft-dominated system to an even less diverse(!) but open source software universe is due to the “Safest Bet” meme. This behavior recognizes that you use that solution that’s known to be best maintained and least likely to be abandoned by its patron. As unlikely as it is that Microsoft Sequel Server will go away, it’s even less likely that MySQL will. This effect will only accelerate.
Take Away: We’re just beginning to accept the robustness of the mysterious Open Source Energy Allocator. And its acceptance will grow until it’s the dominant force in software.