Business model: coopetition doesn’t save any money?

After my nightly post I noticed I didn’t comment another Billy Marshall’s suggestion:

Who spends more money on engineering their product as a percent of revenue? Oracle or Red Hat? It has to be Oracle, right? Red Hat gets so much R&D leverage from the community. Wrong. Red Hat spends 15% of revenue on R&D while Oracle spends only 13%. I guess customers want more than just a download re-direct from to

Few days ago I had a chance to speak with a member of an European Commission funded project aimed at analyze a large number of projects using publicly available data sources. The project, named FLOSSMetrics, has the goal to better understand the landscape of libre software development. Preliminary results from well known projects show how a significant percentage of contributed code – sometimes more than 20% – come from developers outside the firm.

I believe RH take advantage of commons-based peer-production, and the little difference between Red Hat and Oracle expenditures on R&D has a simple explanation in the type of product, its dimension, complexity and age.