Open Source (Still) Seeds the Startups


It's become fairly well recognised that after the dotcom crash, the next wave of startups naturally turned to open source as a way of getting going without much money. Since then, the LAMP stack and variants thereof have provided the basis of practically every important Web 2.0 company – I believe that MySpace is the only one that went with Windows (no wonder that it's losing the initiative to Facebook, which uses GNU/Linux and MySQL as its foundation....).

But what about today's entrepreneurs who are just starting out? Are they also turning to LAMP or similar? It's hard to know, since generally we don't hear about them until they're established, and that takes a few years. But there is a way to get an insight into what the next generation are up to. It comes courtesy of Seedcamp:

Seedcamp is where Europe's top young founders can come together in one place.

From securing funding to developing the right network, young entrepreneurs in Europe face challenges in building globally competitive technology businesses. Through the provision of seed capital and a world class network of mentors, we want to provide a catalyst for Europe's next generation of entrepreneurs.

Seedcamp has done something rather cool for its upcoming Seedcamp week in London:

We thought it might be interesting to take the several hundred applications we received and look for some aggregate patterns, so I grabbed the answers to some of the more relevant questions and (after a little sed manipulation to strip HTML and make sure no confidential application info slipped through) fed them to Jonathan Feinberg's excellent Wordle. The results are below. It's a little dirty (e.g. I wish "open" and "source" were one phrase) but even without too much manual polish it should be a good indicator. Enjoy - and be sure to click through for the full size images.

The first one shown is about what these entrepreneurs are creating. Inevitably, perhaps, “social” and “mobile” were two of the hottest topics. Similarly, the word cloud for how they will make money shouts one revenue stream above all: “advertising”.

More interesting is the one about tools. Here the key players are “MySQL”, “PHP”, “Open”, "Python", “Linux and “LAMP”. Microsoft appears in a satisfyingly small typeface, so I think we can say that the entrepreneurs of tomorrow are still in safe (free software) hands as far as their tools are concerned.

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