Sunday, February 10, 2008

Manel, OpenBravo and Silicon Valley

I am in Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, but I managed to put in some time for open source. Last night I had dinner with Manel Sarasa, CEO of OpenBravo. If you do not know the company, they provide an open source ERP and they are based in Spain (HQ in Barcelona, development in Pamplona).

Manel happens to be a mobile guy. He always worked in mobile, then jumped on the open source bandwagon. In a way, is a mobile open source guy now ;-)

He is also famous for his love of food. He knows every chef in Spain and that helps him getting into any restaurant in the world. He managed to get a table at the French Laundry calling the same day (for those who do not live around San Francisco, that is the #1 restaurant in North California with a waiting list of months).

Therefore, I was looking forward to our dinner. I wasn't disappointed, it was exceptionally good ;-) And I just love once in a while to have dinner at 9:30 pm...

Manel told me how well OpenBravo is doing. They tripled revenues last year, they have three times the amount of downloads of Compiere (one of their open source rivals), they tripled pretty much everything (no, he is still incapable of tripling food, but I guess he is working on it). I have a lot of faith in his ability and I believe ultimately they will be the #1 company in open source ERP.

He is thinking about Silicon Valley. He has been thinking about it for a while, because I met him quite a long time ago (with Josep) and he was already thinking about it. But this is not a small jump. I did it and I would recommend it to anyone, including Matt who has lived in the Valley but keeps bugging everyone saying we should move to Utah. Why? When I need to ski I do a daily trip there from the Valley :-)

Why Silicon Valley for open source? Beside funding and partnering, think for a second about the open source companies that have been bought lately for gazillion of dollars: MySQL, Zimbra, Xensource, Trolltech. Where were they based? Utah? Barcelona? I do not thing so. They maybe started somewhere else, but they were headquartered in the Valley.

Manel, pack and come to the Valley. You will like it here (but go live in San Francisco, the Peninsula is not for you). I promise I will get you a table at Acquerello in the city ;-)