OSS Capital with Joseph Jacks

Open source projects benefit from the network effects of a large audience of developers. A popular open source project will be contributed to and used by thousands of developers, who are continuously testing, deploying, and improving the software. The open source movement has created massive communities and a thriving, collaborative economy.

Infrastructure software companies are increasingly built within an open source business model. Databases, queueing systems, orchestrators, operating systems, and search engines have been started as freely available open source projects, and leveraged into billion dollar businesses. In previous shows we have talked about business strategy, go-to-market tactics, and licensing of infrastructure software.

There remains plenty of room for more open source infrastructure companies. We still need better databases and distributed systems management. But over time, open source will move up the stack. From Netflix to Uber to social networks to payments systems–all software verticals will become open source because the benefits of making your software open source outweigh the costs.

For many software business models, the competitive advantage is not found in their source code–it’s in their data, their network effects, their sales strategy, and their brand.

Therefore, it makes sense that someday the source code will be freely available, democratizing the infrastructure concerns and letting these software businesses move up the value chain and become less operationally intensive at the bottom of the stack. Rather than asking “why should we open source our code”, these companies will be asking “why shouldn’t we open source our code?”

Joseph Jacks is the founder of OSS Capital, a venture capital firm that invests exclusively in commercial OSS startup companies. Joe believes that over time, open source eats everything. In today’s show, we talk about the future of open source businesses, the impact of licensing, cloud providers, and cryptocurrencies.

 

Show Notes

Transcript

Transcript provided by We Edit Podcasts. Software Engineering Daily listeners can go to weeditpodcasts.com/sed to get 20% off the first two months of audio editing and transcription services. Thanks to We Edit Podcasts for partnering with SE Daily. Please click here to view this show’s transcript.


Sponsors

Azure Container Service simplifies the deployment, management and operations of Kubernetes. Check out the Azure Container Service at aka.ms/sedaily.

Jaspersoft offers embeddable reports, dashboards, and data visualizations that developers love. Give users intuitive access to data in the ideal place for them to take action—within your application. To check out Jaspersoft, go to softwareengineeringdaily.com/jaspersoft and find out how easy it is to embed reporting and analytics into your application.

Manifold makes your life easier by providing a single workflow to organize your services, connect your integrations, and share with your team. While Manifold is completely free to use, if you head over to manifold.co/sedaily you’ll get a coupon code for $10 which you can use to try out any service on the Manifold marketplace.

Get ready to build content-rich websites and professional web applications with Wix Code. Store and manage unlimited data with built-in databases, create dynamic pages, make custom forms and take full control of your site’s functionality with Wix Code APIs and JavaScript. Plus, now you can get 10-percent off your Premium plan. Go to Wix.com/SED.