How are they going to make money if open source enthusiasts copy the ideas and spread them for free? See e.g. React -> Vue.
Selling developer tools these days is just a losing game.
Selling a company that holds some patents or serious implementations of useful software is not. We live in an era where Big Tech will acquire companies for tens of millions, then dismantle their product, just to hire a proven engineering team (or keep them out of the hands of competitors for a brief period). So companies with actual, useful products do fetch quite a bit.
Git PR don't pay supermarket bills.
It is a matter of getting a target audience willing to pay for their tools.
I agree this is true for _trivial_ dev tools, but for dev tools that are more complex or provide an entire ecosystem I think this is not strictly true. Where I work (Sourcegraph) we are able to sell a good cohesive bundle of dev tools (code search, jump-to-definition/find-references, etc.) and through that have been able to easily fund REALLY cool tooling like https://comby.dev
I imagine the same is true for e.g. GitLab
The "copying" comments are largely due to things like Vue's new proposed hooks API being very much inspired by React coming up with hooks in the first place.
Hence why everyone that want to make a living selling developer tools, turns to enterprise customers, B2B, or finds a way to package them as SaaS.
Welll ... from their website:
> Red Planet Labs is pioneering a radically new kind of software tool.
Also, the Materialize "reactive SQL" solution sounds a lot like Firebase.