- Monty writes MySQL way back in the day, largely so that he has a database system which doesn't have any of the complex features of an RDBMS that make it work well (you know, referential integrity, transactions, views, proper metadata support).
- People start using it, largely because it's Free-as-in-Beer (this was back in the days of minimum $100K Oracle buys just to run a simple web site), but also because it's easy to setup and administer (which Oracle/Sybase/SQLServer/DB2 were not).
- Monty wants to get rich.
- In an effort to get rich, he takes a boat load of VC funding to push MySQL from being a small open source collective to a Real Company.
- VC funding requires a business model that has real revenue behind it.
- Company adopts a split licensing model (which pissed off a lot of people at the time), and starts being effective in attracting revenue and very, very smart people as executives.
- Monty's dreams of success are realized when Sun pays a king's ransom for MySQL.
- Monty wants to have his cake  and eat it too, and gets all pissy and storms off in a strop and founds an attempt to get rich a second time on the same project.
- Oracle buying Sun means people take this attempt even more seriously and he attracts people who never liked the post-VC-funding MySQL business model in the first place to the cause.
f(Cake + Eating) == Cake
- He fundamentally doesn't agree with a split licensing model and thinks it's doomed to failure. I really hope this isn't the case, because if it is, he was acting disingenuously at best when working for the Original Monty MySQL-Based Get Rich Scheme, by supporting a model that he didn't believe in.
- If we invest in an Open Source company, the most likely outcome is an acquisition by another firm.
- If founders of projects make it a habit of storming off to fork their invention because they don't like the monetization model they helped establish, other firms are very unlikely indeed to buy Open Source companies.
- If other companies are unlikely to buy Open Source companies, our return on investment in them will be much lower.
- Therefore, there's no point in looking at them.
Footnotes: By cake, I mean chedda/dead presidents/papa. Cash money, yo.
: Clearly more than once.
: Hence I am totally unqualified to comment here. I'm doing so anyway, because if you keep reading, this turns less Monty-directed and more general-parable.
: There's a reason nobody ever saw the code for my Compete-with-MySQL Open Source Database startup.
: I'm not actually accusing Monty of this, and nor do I believe it to be the case (believe it or not). I think there's something else going on here. But I could see that some people might think that unethically, and you really shouldn't.
: Yes, there are ways to structure this, usually during the M&A stage, by having deferred payments to the founders which don't trigger if they fork for some period of time, that even comply with California and UK restraint-of-trade law.