Steve Shu sent me this as well. The issues with open source copies of proprietary software strikes me as an economic race to the bottom that hurts us all. I'm not suggesting that there should be rules and restrictions, but knocking off someone's innovation shouldn't be something that we (collectively) reward. Of course this will continue to happen, and perhaps the issue that it raises is what is the durable value that your new product/service is creating... what is your utility?
The other area to ponder is the notion of brand selling in mature markets, which the technology industry largely is at this point. I don't really know where this is going, I'm just rambling.
del.icio.us Vs del.irio.us
I've been watching this battle for the last week or so. If you don't know, del.irio.us is the perfect example of hypercommoditization - it's a total (open-source) clone of del.icio.us. A shameless clone - it rips off del.icio.us down to the font sizes, and adds a few bits of it's own.
Now, this is interesting for several reasons. First, because it's patently clear that most dot com 2.0s are conceptualizing strategy in the same way as dot com 1.0s: offer a platform for network fx, give it away, build the largest network fastest, and monetize by selling the platform or the user base to corporate or high-value segments.