In collaboration, credibility is the coin of the realm. You have to scale intimacy. You have to be transparent on things like fixing bugs and handling contributions. You must manage relationships among companies that, in all other areas, may be direct competitors.
It took Red Hat years to get JBOSS functioning in this way, after buying the middleware company for $350 million in 2006, as reported by Information Week. It's still one of the biggest deals on an open source code base. It took some courage to commit to OpenStack, first sponsored by Rackspace (RAX), as its cloud infrastructure solution, as ZDNet reported in August. Red Hat programmers are now among the biggest contributors to that code base, as a recent analysis at Github showed.
I saw some of this in person, this summer, at the Red Hat Summit in Boston. There is not a lot of "I" there. There is a whole lot of "we" there.
Now there are problems with Red Hat's story. VMware (VMW) still outsells it in virtualization, an important cloud ingredient, by a wide margin. Red Hat is investing well ahead of the "private cloud" boom, so some earnings weakness is to be expected, and the future of its own cloud offerings, like "OpenShift," a cloud platform, remain unknowns.But, like Google, and like other quality companies, Red Hat knows what it's about. It has a clear vision, one that its employees understand, one that is easy to communicate. It has a lot of opportunity, within that vision, to grow further. That's what I look for in a tech investment. Stocks will rise and stocks will fall, but companies that grow know their way. At the time of publication, the author had positions in GOOG and RHT. Follow @DanaBlankenhorn This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV