IBM makes millions off patents, but it could make billions with open source
"While patent collectors will often claim that their portfolio is a good indicator of the deep research and development they do, rarely do we see patent heft translate directly into product success. Why? Because rarely do products succeed simply because of technical merit.
Instead, the most successful companies are those that can execute (sales, marketing, etc.) around a product, whatever its technical merits. In this area, IBM has largely failed over the last decade...
IBM has long been one of the pioneers in open source software, which is where most usable innovation seems to be happening today. From TensorFlow to Apache Kafka to Kubernetes, if IBM wants to compete with modern technology giants like Google and Microsoft, it needs to innovate in the same way they do, too. Yes, they still gather patents, but their more interesting work emerges as open source software."