The Future of Open Source, or Why Open Core Is Dead

Quote from the above article:

A Better Way Forward: Open Foundation

So what’s the alternative here? I suggest finding a real problem that your open source solution can help solve that is complementary to your business but isn’t giving away the core value, and doing so in alignment with the market by sticking to these three critical principles:

  1. Be Authentic: The project needs to add real value and be genuine about providing it. In a fast-paced and interconnected market, developers easily sniff out “tricks” to push them into other offerings.
  2. Avoid conflicts of interest: An open source project shouldn’t place your company in a conflict of interest. As you push to grow your company, you will run into market pressures as demand rises. This could potentially cap your growth or slow you down significantly compared to competitors who use your open source software. Supporting, evolving, and growing open source is a lot of work, and your competitors may easily reap your benefits, potentially resulting in a kiss of death for your company.
  3. Make the project independent: A developer should be able to enjoy what the project has to offer without being dependent on other components that don’t adhere to these principles. If your OSS project is valuable, but there are hurdles to tap into it- other projects will dethrone it by reducing said hurdles.

This is an interesting approach, and perhaps what I’m doing right now with the Yoe Distribution and Simple IoT – the complement our consulting and product development efforts. Maybe someday we’ll have a product that will use these technologies as well …