Thoughts on Commercial Open Source Companies

Joseph Jacks wrote a great article analysing some of the common properties of commercial open source software (COSS) companies vs fundamentally proprietary software (FPS) companies.

While Kindly Ops is bootstrapped as a services company because that is the kind of business that is possible to start with zero capital, our aim is to become a COSS company. These things just feel right

  • being forced to define a value prop that works even while the software is free
  • creating more value than we capture
  • making sure the software is available to people where the economics are totally different (where it might be more practical to trade time instead of money)
  • making sure the software is available even if the company fails
  • making sure everyone involved in creating the software has equal footing for monetizing the software
  • enabling others to build additional businesses that use the software

I always encounter skepticism when talking about this. It still feels right 😎

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