He told the audience that you have to listen to you customers and give your customers what they want. OK fine, I thought. That sounds good, but everyone says that.
Then Weston explain that when they listened, Rackspace customers said that they did not want to be tied down or locked in to anything. But traditionally software (and services) companies work hard to lock customers into multi-year contracts and and even lock them into their technology stack.
Rackspace listened and decided to put its technology stack into an open source foundation and made it freely available.
That's right focus, OpenStack (created by Rackspace) was born out of listening to customers.
#OpenStack was born out of listening to our customers. @gweston #tweet2win @arialv #tsw13
— Bill Cushard (@billcush) October 22, 2013
Just reflect on this for a minute.
Reflect on the action Rackspace took to freely give away its technology based on their customers' best interest and not on Rackspace's best interest. Customers didn't want to be locked into a technology standard and at the mercy of Rackspace. So Rackspace said, "Fine, here you go. Do with our technology whatever you wish."
Of course Rackspace has benefited greatly from this move. Weston called this, "Enlightened Self-Interest."