Open Source - Open World (infographic)

Jan 11 2011


Our CEO's (Ludovic Dubost) take:

This image is interesting as it shows a state of open source and the fact that it is continuously spreading.

Open source is knowledge and nothing in this world can stop knowledge from spreading. This is why we see open source more and more everywhere in our lives.

There are a few non precise things in this document:

  • the mobile part is from 2008 and does not yet have Android which is rapidly gaining market share;
  • the business part is a bit too much focus the "sale value" of some open source companies. This is a bit typical from demonstrating power by showing some financial information that makes the news. The reality of open source business is that it's strongest part is actually not the most visible part. There is open source business everywhere from small companies to large service companies that have an open source entity, to inside the user companies that pay people to implement open source. 

This actually bring us to the subject of "being paid to develop software". Interestingly this graphic mentions Bill Gates "Open Letter to Hobbyists" written in 1976 where Bill Gates complains about Altair users stealing his Basic Software and that developers need to be paid to write software.

It's interesting to note that it is very probable that the stealing of Bill Gates software at the time contribute significantly to his reputation and therefore to his future success once he found out the right distribution to make money. Secondly it's quite interesting to see that there are many developers today that like to write good software if not without pay, at least making less money so that their software is shared as much as possible. Now a big share of open source software writers are actually being paid (although some people tend to thing it's not happening), it's just that they have a different revenue model than selling the software itself. They make themselves knows for the software they write and then sell support, services or implementation and sometime even code that goes in the software itself.

What counts, wether you want to be paid upfront or not, is that you find a good model for your software to be successful. What we see is that more and more open source software is spreading more and mode. This is because once the open source software found a sustainable financing model, it's "open source" nature allows it to spread everywhere much more easily, especially when modifications to the software are needed.

It's great to see that the open source concepts popularized in software are also spreading to other domains.

Ludovic Dubost