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Discussion on: Open source creators: Red Hat got $34 billion and you got $0. Here's why.

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Donald Fischer Author

The central point of my argument is that unlike earlier enterprise software businesses, Red Hat never sold code. Quoting myself: "Red Hat was never in the business of selling software."

During its heyday, Red Hat did more than any other company to advance the cause of open source, including demonstrating a scalable business model. That enabled Red Hat to productively employ many open source contributors over the years, including many of my closest friends and collaborators, and invest untold amounts in open source projects. Still, it's an incontrovertible fact that most individuals whose code became part of Red Hat's enterprise products never saw a dime for it.

My opinion is that we should learn from the best parts of Red Hat's business model, and seek to improve it to better align incentives between creators and users of open source. I'm putting my money where my mouth is by working every day to make that possible.