Thoughts on Open Source Startups

Max Ong Zong Bao on March 24, 2019

Introduction Open source has always held a special place for me. Ever since I started to pick up Java as my first programming langua... [Read Full]
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Sure open source is a great concept... But some open source companies are "un-"open sourcing their software with time... Think to odoo(ex OpenERP) the claim to be open source but every new releases comes with 2 things(in general):

  • open features that have been closed
  • new features that are closes(proprietary)

Sometimes open features became closed...
I don't know if this still open source startup, because some part of the codebase still open.

 

I think they were trying to follow the Red Hat business model which charges licensing of new features and support for enterprise customers.

I am fine with these startups that operate this way. Since I might not have certain use cases that justify the means to purchase of a enterprise license.

 

I think most open source companies have that model. Open source to get follower and users. Once enough adoption then there are two approach to generate revenue: (after all, a startup is a business):

  • some have a non open source version that have more features. (For example, Kong have an enterprise version that isn't open source)
  • provide Consulting, Training, and Service Level Agreements that big enterprise companies require (for this, sometimes there are multiple competing companies that serve the same open source product, like Horton Works and Cloudera before they decide to merge with each other rather than competing against each other.).

Yup, it's actually one of the popular & successful Red Hat open source business models that I had encountered so far.

There's also another one which is the Dev community that goes for merchandise store and sponsorships for their website besides VC funding.

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