#0: Ab initio — Open Motivations

Firstly, why start a new blog? Easy:

  • In working around commercial open source software (OSS) since 2009, in various contexts: services, products, SaaS, open core, training and many combinations thereof — all anchored primarily with an enterprise-software focused and developer-driven slant, many strong-yet-weakly-held/evolutionary opinions have accrued.
  • 2018 is very clearly a major inflection point year for commercial OSS companies: the largest OSS company acquisition ever just happened (Microsoft buying GitHub for $7.5 billion), right after the largest ever before it, just weeks prior (Salesforce buying MuleSoft for $6.5 billion). I believe even more big deals are waiting in the wings.
  • OSS is by far the most exciting lever + trend for major structural change in technology over the past decade and little has been written about how this works from a data-driven lens: several $X00B+ to $1T+ industries are getting disrupted by OSS (enabled fundamentally by the internet and connectedness — Marc Andreessen aptly describes the internet itself as “the next Silicon Valley”).
  • Mega-industries getting eaten by OSS: finance/payments (Blockchains), cloud computing (Kubernetes), machine learning/AI (TensorFlow), mobile apps (Android), hardware (RISC-V) + many more.
  • The implications of all of these realities make OSS an extremely critical macro-trend that cannot be ignored — at a fundamental level.
  • Unfortunately, over the past couple of years, I’ve noticed a glaringly obvious lack of consensus around “what works” among even the smartest practitioners and experts in this field (specifically, enterprise-focused commercial OSS) across major aspects: basic terminology, business models, data-driven/empirical facts, consequences for traditional methods (go-to-market, product, iteration, etc.), and more.

This blog is a place to share my observations over the past decade working in this field.

Here we go!