Forget trying to build a better mouse trap. Build a better business model instead.
That's the key to building a billion-dollar business from scratch, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told a group of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists this afternoon at the annual CED Venture Conference held in Pinehurst.
Raleigh-based Red Hat didn't succeed because it created better software. On the contrary, the Linux open source software was created by a worldwide community of software developers even before Red Hat existed.
What Red Hat did do, Whitehurst said, is devise an innovative way to sell free software that clicked with corporate customers because it solved a problem they faced: ever-changing software for critical operations, including new features they may not even want.