Open-source software (OSS) has been one of the quietest revolutions in history. The incredible victory of OSS over proprietary software has been invisible to the majority of the world’s population. OSS is still not understood by most people - despite its tremendous success since the early 1980s and explosion since the early 2000s.
Beyond making source code available publicly, the underlying OSS principles of transparency, participation and collaboration on a global scale have led to tens of millions of people working together on common challenges which has created incredible value. There are obvious commercial OSS success stories such as RedHat with its $30 billion valuation and Mulesoft’s valuation at $6.5 billion - acquired by IBM and Salesforce respectively. Still, the general public and many executives do not appreciate that OSS powers practically every part of every digital interaction they have.
Tech giants such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google run to a large extent on OSS and contribute major amounts of IP and funding to OSS products each year. Further, there are many companies such as Hashicorp, GitLab, Elastic and Confluent that are proud Commercial Open-source Software (COSS) companies with multi-billion dollar
OSS has beaten proprietary models through engaged distributed communities, with a sense of purpose, operating with an inclusive meritocracy where ideas can come from anywhere and the best ideas win. A company employing even thousands of engineers and investing tens of millions of dollars per year cannot compete with tens or hundreds of thousands of developers that contribute to products because they want to. The crowd will win, every time.valuations. COSS is a proven, highly efficient way of creating and operating businesses.