re: I'm Joseph Jacks, founder and general partner of OSS Capital, ask me anything! VIEW POST


Thanks for doing this JJ.

Has your thesis or expectations changed at all since you officially started OSS Cap?

What has gone as expected and what has surprised you?


Hi Ben! Thanks for having me.

Our thesis has remained the same: OSS Capital focuses exclusively on investing in and helping COSS companies.

I have, however, learned a few things over the past few months in our infancy:

1) The world is still far from understanding the magnitude and profoundness of COSS as a highly categorizable thing. We have a lot of educating to do, even with $70B+ in COSS M&A/IPOs/PE events in 2018 alone.

2) The world is still far from looking at COSS from a data-driven perspective and making conclusions from that data. A lot more people need to see this spreadsheet:

3) The COSS category is likely to be $10T+ (trillion) over the next 15 or so years. I originally thought it would be somewhere around $3-5T, but it is much bigger than that. I plan to blog soon on (conservative) data projections to support this.

4) There are far more COSS startups out there than we can invest in (even the absolute best ones at the earliest stages). :-( ... This is only true because we do not yet have billions of dollars to directly invest ourselves (this is a function of how large the COSS space is and our age), but stay tuned over the coming future! Constraints breed innovation!

5) Our thesis has only gotten broader and more expansive: software ate the world, OSS is eating software, OSS is then eating everything else: cloud (Kubernetes), hardware (RISC-V), etc... It is even more exciting on a daily basis to have the privilege to help founders build and grow the next leading COSS companies!


A lot more people need to see this spreadsheet:

Looking at the chart, I see clearly RedHat dominating the market, generating half of the outcome. Why should I - as an investor - put my money in other companies than RedHat?

Don't get me wrong on that: I love to see more money being put into Open Source companies - I even work at a OSS Shop (we built among other things GPG4Win, the windows integration for GnuPG). But I see, that being Open Source comes more with a price, than it helps.


From our perspective, commercial open source has become more interesting and viable in the market in the past year or so.

It's hard to say if the right people are finding us now, or the macro trends have shifted, but it's easier to get people excited about the open source component of our future. But still hard to tell if that's sample bias based on things that have changed in our world.

I get the sense that the slowing down of blockchain mania has helped.

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