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Ask HN: Open Source, the future or not?
7 points by kelleolsen 1014 days ago | 6 comments
For a long time I’ve been asking myself this question. More and more startups are promoting themselves with Open Source and free to use services. Lets take an example, a new service called www.supportduck.com. This is a startup that are promoting themself with Open Source approach where you can download the code for free on Github, or you can use their web service for free. The startup above are moving into a market with a lot of great businesses already, well known businesses such as www.olark.com, www.zopim.com etc.

So that is why I'm asking, do you guys on HN think there is a future for businesses with an Open Source strategy where it is free for everyone.

I think that in the next couple of years, we will see a lot of startups with an Open Source strategy, but if they will keep running without any income I'm not sure.

Kind regards Kenneth




Open Source monetization options 1. Support (Red Hat) 2. Customization/ professional services 3. Documentation (JBoss in the olden days and most recently with jBPM) 4. Optimization tools

FOSS also helps in sourcing an international labor pool to lower product development costs.

For consumers, mature FOSS provides alternatives to the traditional per CPU cost model. As product spaces and FOSS alternatives mature, the cost models of proprietary software makes little sense.

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Something about FOSS...

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Of course they need income to keep running; the question is what they'll monetize besides the software itself. It could be an open base platform with closed premium bits, or fully open with contracts for support, for just two examples.

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I had an argument with someone about this, and we ended up agreeing that not everything can be open sourced (figuratively speaking).

Although the complete outcome was more of a stalemate, the above was implied from our discussions.

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I believe theres a big future for open source companies if they do it right !

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This is so cool!

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