Technology companies negotiate a particularly messy obstacle course from the moment of conception — jumping hurdles associated with venture capital, fending off and holding their own with fierce (and worthy) competitors, constantly changing and innovating products and services to meet the demands of the customer base. Open source companies have an additional complicating factor — the business model is mysterious to many potential customers, and competitors (fierce, worthy, or otherwise) are often 800 pound gorillas with names and logos recognizable to CTO, CIO and Luddite alike.

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