It is fascinating to see how people are using open source. I'm part of the "old guard" of open source, I suppose, delivering an open-source alternative to a tired market ripe for commoditization and innovation. But other companies, like OpenAds (open-source advertising server), Path Intelligence (tracking shopper flow based on the open-source GNU radio), Chumby (open-source consumer electronics/hardware), etc. are taking open source into new markets.
Today, I was fortunate to meet one of the most interesting open-source companies I've seen in a long, long time: Marketcetera. Marketcetera provides an open-source trading platform that hedge funds and others use to process and deliver trades through a brokerage to an exchange (like NASDAQ). It's like proprietary, expensive FlexTrade, only not proprietary...or expensive.
The market for this kind of platform is not huge today, as the founders, Toli Kuznets and Graham Miller, told me today (roughly $500 million for custom development, but probably not including packaged software like FlexTrade). But with more and more trading moving from people to algorithmic processes (30-40% in the US today, jumping to 50-60% by the end of the decade), the market will grow accordingly.
Besides, I can think of a range of other uses for this sort of technology beyond hedge funds.… Read more