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Si Chen

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Top Stories by Si Chen

Is Blockchain the Ultimate Open Source Disruptive Technology? Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures has been talking a lot about the blockchain recently, so I decided to learn more about it.  I read the Marketing the Blockchain e-book, watched The Grand Vision of a Crypto-Tech Economy video and the video keynote of Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne at the Bitcoin 2014 conference, and did some more research on my own.  While far from an expert, I do see some interesting similarities to the adoption of open source software. Here’s what I’ve learned — please comment and tell me if I’m wrong: What’s the Big Deal about the Blockchain? Blockchain is a distributed ledger system using crytography and open source software. The goal of the blockchain is to allow anonymous and secure record-keeping. But here’s the big thing: instead of those records being kept in one central, alleged... (more)

opentaps at 1.4: Our Inflection Point

1.4 is a big number. The recent opentaps Open Source ERP + CRM Version 1.4 release marks a milestone of our effort to build free, openly available enterprise software.  This journey began over six years ago with the goal of building full featured business software that could work for a variety of companies in many different industries. And now, I’m pleased to say, we’ve done it.  Take a look at what opentaps can do for you today, and I think you’ll agree that, broadly speaking, we have a very extensive feature set.  Take a look at the community around opentaps, and you’ll see th... (more)

Commercial Add Ons to Open Source Software: aheadWorks and Magento

Here’s an open source business model that’s creeping up on us:  Selling add-ons to open source  software.    For under $100, you can buy predesigned themes, reports, and feature enhancements for a number of open source projects, including WordPress, Joomla!, and Magento.   Is there a viable business here? To find out, I recently chatted with Eugene Popovsky, one of the owners of aheadWorks, which makes several of the most popular Magento add-ons. Here’s what he told me: What made you decide to create these add-on modules for Magento? We have a great experience in ecommerce as we’v... (more)

Opening Up Enterprise Software: Key Trends and Opportunities for Open Source Applications

In this presentation, Si Chen will discuss the key trends in the enterprise software sector, including vendor consolidation, on-demand delivery, and the transition to a Service Oriented Architecture, and how they are creating opportunities for open source applications.  He will then showcase opentaps, the Open Source Enterprise Applications Suite (www.opentaps.org).  opentaps is a Java open source application suite with ERP, CRM, Manufacturing, eCommerce, and Supply Chain Management features which is built around SOA and can be deployed on any database or platform.  The presentat... (more)

Online Music and Open Source Business Models

In this part of our series on An Open Source Business, let’s take a look at our friends in the online music space and see what we can learn from them. The Deal recently had an article about online music startups which should strike a chord with anybody who’s thinking about or trying to make a business out of open source.  Look at what they had to say: “huge numbers, lots of hype, a surfeit of hope and a major chance of failure… some of the business models are inherently economically unfeasible… It’s completely unsettled and more and more fragmented…The rules of the industry and t... (more)