I’m Brian Gordon, tech reporter for The News & Observer, and this is Open Source, a weekly newsletter on business, labor and technology in North Carolina.
When Red Hat makes news, people in the Triangle pay attention.
On Monday, the news was bad, as the Raleigh software distributor announced it would cut 4% of staff over the next few months. But negative headlines have been rare for Red Hat.
Going back to the late 1990s, the company has drawn praise for disrupting the software industry.
“It was kind of surreal the amount of fame you’d get for working at Red Hat,” said Joe Colopy, who started as an intern at the company in the spring of 1999. “It was just that cool.”
A quarter-century later, Red Hat continues to define the area in myriad ways: delivering prestige, dollars, spinoff startups, and downtown revitalization — plus an amphitheater.
Today, The News & Observer published my four-part series on the history of Red Hat and its underlying open-source technology.
In three decades, Red Hat went from a Durham apartment to a Raleigh downtown tower, from a few dozen employees to thousands, from $10 million in yearly revenue to being bought by IBM for $34 billion. It took slings and arrows from rival tech behemoths like Microsoft and won.
How’d Red Hat pull it off?
Former executives, current employees, and the decades of N&O newspaper archives tell the story:
- Part One: Over two whirlwind years, Red Hat leaps from an obscure software company in a “secondary” tech market to one of the sector’s hottest names.
- Part Two: The dot-com bubble bursts and a timely deal stabilizes Red Hat. The company looks to lure larger clientele and a tragedy accelerates the industry’s embrace of open source.
- Part Three: Could Raleigh lose Red Hat? State incentives shut down any concern in the early 2010s as the company continues to expand. Former employees go off to launch their local startups.
- Part Four: Will Red Hat still be a rebel under the banner of IBM?
I hope you enjoy reading. Reach out if you work/worked at Red Hat and have memories to share.
Another Epic loss against Apple
Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games and the state’s second-richest person, had hoped for a different outcome in court this week. On Monday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in Epic’s long-running, antitrust case against Apple.
Apple called the judgment a “resounding victory” in an emailed statement to The News & Observer.
Sweeney was more somber, acknowledging on Twitter that Epic had “lost another court verdict.”
But it wasn’t a total victory for Apple, and the ruling is likely to change (in more subtle ways) how we buy apps on our iPhones. And we’ll be watching to see if either Epic or Apple try to bring the case before the Supreme Court.
Short Stuff: Wolfspeed stock sinks, Relay and Levitate raise $10 million+
- Wolfspeed lost a fifth of its value Thursday as its stock dropped 20% after its latest quarterly earnings release.
- The Raleigh startup Relay raised $13 million in a Series A funding round. Relay focuses on providing communication devices for frontline workers in fields like health care and hospitality, among other industries. It spun off from the Raleigh telecommunications firm Bandwidth.
- Levitate, another communications startup in Raleigh, raised $13.75 million in Series C funding.
National Tech Happenings
The United Kingdom blocked Microsoft’s $69 billion deal to acquire the major video game maker Activision Blizzard.
AI-generated “Drake” songs might be a listen into our AI-dominated future.
More layoff news: Dropbox to cut 16% of its workforce, Lyft will cut 1,000 more positions, Amazon begins more layoffs.
Hang in there if you’ve been impacted by job cuts. Here are the Triangle companies still hiring the most.
Thanks for reading!
This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.
This story was originally published April 28, 2023, 1:06 AM.
Read the full article here