Why OpenStack is different from other open source projects

The OpenStack project feels different from other open source projects to me. Let me try to explain.

Henrik Ingo did an excellent analysis of open source project size versus governance structure a few years ago. Essentially, the nine largest, most vibrant open source communities were anchored inside nonprofit foundations. The 10th largest was 10 times smaller than the ninth and existed inside a corporation. Like a good engineer, Henrik provided his data and listed his assumptions. He was not suggesting that the growth was causal, simply that there was a strong correlation. He rightly observed that it will be fascinating to see what it all means using OpenStack as an example when he presented his findings in summer 2011. (He wrote an excellent follow-up post comparing cloud projects later.)
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