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Note that none of the successful large companies are actually open sourcing their 'secret sauce'. There is no open source version of Google's search engine, Facebook's social network etc. It's only supporting tools and infrastructure they release (i.e. commoditization of their complements or dependencies.) A product company open sourcing their core product is committing suicide on the product front. Sure, there will be services companies who may benefit (Red Hat or providers like AWS etc.) but the company that actually produces the software rarely will.





I don't think Facebook has any "secret sauce". The integration and scale is certainly impressive, but there's no part of the functionality which is at all mysterious to me. Unlike, say, Google Search, everything on Facebook appears pretty straightforward.

They did open-source HHVM, React, GraphQL, and Cassandra, which are the closest things I can see to a secret sauce.


Their ad-targeting infrastructure likely has some secret subtleties to it.

Meh, not really. Cookies all the way down.

They can and do jump the incognito mode regarding ad cimplaints. I have proof.

You’ll be surprised how many ways there are to track you even in Incognito

nah... after working in Internet Marketing I am convinced the only way to not be tracked is to simply not use any device or credit card.

That situation is so rare someone meeting those criteria could be tracked by the lack of that data


Other companies do this too, so it doesn’t qualify as secret sauce.

These comments so much remind me of the infamous Dropbox comment when they launched: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9224

Well, looks like you just have to assemble known parts in specific order to make something users like.


To expand on this, these companies are not open sourcing their data. Facebook no longer gives you access to the social graph. Google doesnt have an open API for their search results or search volume.

Providing an API doesn't mean open sourcing the data. Because the API provider can very well restrict who can use it, and how it is used, and throttle it.



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