Open Source Isn’t A Business Model, It’s A Market Strategy

First, open source isn’t a business model; it is a go-to-market strategy. Done right, it really solves one of the hardest problems in building a business — getting traction for the product.”


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is your company an open source parasite?

    Open source has too many takers and too few champions. Here’s what that could mean for the future of your business.

    There’s been a lot of chatter about who does and does not contribute enough to open source projects

    After all, no matter who you work for, only a small percentage of a company’s engineers contribute to open source projects.

    In other words, everyone is a net consumer of open source, and gives comparatively little back. Every single large company on Earth. (Well, maybe except Red Hat, but it’s the exception that proves the rule.)

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that

    As Hadoop founder Doug Cutting asserted: “Expecting contribution to open source proportional to benefit from it is insanity.” It’s simply unrealistic to expect everyone to give back line-for-line what they get from open source.

    It’s not unrealistic, however, to ask corporations to self-interestedly pay committers to projects from which they benefit. The problem, as GitHub’s Nadia Eghbal described in an excellent talk, is that open source presents the classic tragedy of the commons, wherein firms benefit from others’ contributions and have little incentive to contribute themselves.

    In a world defined by software, companies that rely completely on the generosity of other companies to build and maintain the open source software upon which they increasingly rely are foolish in the extreme.

    Getting involved in the open source projects that matter to a company, in other words, gives them more ability to influence their future today

    In sum, the GitHub contributor counts should be much higher

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Why you really don’t want just one vendor running an open source project

    There’s a lot of money to be made by controlling open source, but far more can be made with community-driven open source.


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