Do I have your attention? Good. I’m gonna blow up everything you think you know about OSS and your wrong-headed decision to base your startup on your own OSS-licensed software and a freemium model. First, some background. I invented hosted source control in 1999 three months before the next two services emerged. Started a company, raised capital, had employees - and a 401(k) that we fully matched - before any of the current providers in this market were founded.
I’ve recently been thinking about how companies that both produce and consume open source software (OSS) behave in the markets that develop around them. This post examines the incentives on both sides - and considers multiple third sides - to gain advantage from use of OSS in enterprises. The obvious first order case of advantage is using OSS because it’s free of ongoing license costs. This is true for SMB but less so for enterprises that purchase licenses for versions of the OSS that contain proprietary features.