Ecology, Communities and Platform Adoption

Got a note yesterday from Chris Melissinos, Sun’s Chief Gaming Officer, below:

Want to see the next generation of game design? Will Wright’s Spore demo from GDC is one of the most amazing game design demos I have ever seen. Procedurally generated world and inhabitants that pass along genetic traits. Amazing stuff! Viewing this video requires you entering your name and e-mail. It’s an hour long, but you can skip around. Enjoy!

It’s definitely worth a peek – shots of the audience are as interesting as the presenter.

On a (barely) related note, we’re seeing more and more momentum behind what we see as our ecosystem of strategic communitites, driving Mozilla Firefox, OpenOffice/StarOffice, NetBeans, the Java community and the OpenSolaris/Solaris community. All, interestingly, appear to be accelerating (and having just signed one of the largest industrial companies on earth to a global Solaris site license (across all x64 platforms, displacing the leading alternative – and not just their requisite failed Linux implementation on a mainframe), we’re feeling pretty positive about the revenue equations, too).

We’re seeing a growing number of defectors coming back (the Eclipse defections are especially gratifying). As an example, the graphic below shows a rank ordering of the popularity of the site vs., IBM’s tools site.

The NetBeans community has pretty much caught up – and is on a path to keep up the momentum.

If it wasn’t obvious, blogs (coupled with extraordinary innovation) are playing a central role in driving community awareness and adoption – of all these platforms. Blogs put a human, and real-time, face on communities, their participants and community evolution.

As will become more obvious by the day, you can compete against a product, but it’s close to impossible to compete against a community.

It’s no coincidence that as we enter our most aggressive product cycle ever, an understanding of ecology, ecosystems and community development will once again be at the core of our strategy.

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