I’m over at the Open Source Expo, sitting in the business track. Cause the business side is definitely where I’m weak. An interesting point came up during the investment panel related to the factors that realy stick out in the investor’s mind when looking at a company. Of course they take a look at the business plan of the company overall, but there were two qualifying factors that stuck out to me. The first is that the company has to be solving a hard problem. This is the same as the “barrier to entry” issue I’ve heard from Eleanor (my strategy consultant) before. The second is that investors look particularly for solutions which revolutionize a whole vertical. An example given here was a CIO mandating replacing their existing platform with open source across the board. OS, tools, database, the whole shebang. And enabling this for particular verticals is something that investors really look favorably upon. It’s a good summary of what to aim for I think, and it really helps out to describe what I do quite well. For many companies looking to explore using open source I can help provide those additional peices that enable them to clear the whole vertical.