From Early Employees: Paul McNamara & The Red Hat Experience – a great interview by Hunter Walk:
Q: When you look at how open source technology has evolved, what’s consistent with your original thinking and what surprises you?
A: I knew from the beginning that Open Source Software (OSS) would change the world. Before OSS, software development was a feudal system where only an elite few could contribute. OSS democratized software development and upending the power structures of the industry. Anyone with interest, energy and skill (whether obtained formally or not) could contribute. This was a powerful idea.
But I’m still surprised by how fundamentally OSS has changed the technology landscape. It is safe to say that without OSS, the Internet would today be a mere shadow of itself. Most people outside of the tech industry don’t realize that most of the internet is built on OSS. By extension, I also think that much of cloud computing owes its existence to OSS. But beyond that, OSS has changed how software start-ups operate.