When venture capitalists start selling Microsoft stock because they’re convinced the software giant will be slayed by open-source, they make quite a statement. VCs are supposed to be on top of developments in sectors they invest in.
Witness the quick turn against Microsoft by Fred Wilson, of Flatiron Partners. On Oct. 5, after a friend suggests he switch his browser to Firefox Mozilla, for Internet security reasons. Wilson at first was skeptical. “I don’t think I’ll be making the switch just yet.” He said Firefox was clunky on his computer, took too long to load pages and sometimes timed out before loading. Internet Explorer, he said, worked great on his laptop.
Fast forward just one day, to Oct. 6, and Wilson is already eating “crow.” He concedes that he hadn’t been able to figure out how to tab browse, and that now that he’s figured it out he’s keeping Firefox on his computer after all. Later on Oct 6, he says he’s getting “obsessed” with open-source.
The next day, Oct. 7, Wilson says he’s “selling all my microsoft stock tomorrow,” convinced that Microsoft can’t compete with this” tidal wave of community based software. It’s too powerful.” On Oct. 8, Wilson declares: “We sold all of our Microsoft stock today. I feel better now.”