I was reading a BBC article months ago about a guy who tried to sink his business. The reason why he wanted to sink his business?
The problem, as he saw it, was that this simple code was open source – that is, it had already been made available to developers at no cost – so Peter [Reinhardt] could not see how it could bring money in.
Apparently, this guy didn’t know a lot about open source. While it’s true that companies that have used open source software as their main product have come and gone, there are a few who made it work. One was Red Hat, with their GNU/Linux OS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). The reason why they succeeded? They became the best source of anything RHEL. Need it installed on a bunch of servers easily? Done. Do you require fixes quickly? They can handle that. Have a taste for all of that containerization stuff you’ve heard about? Red Hat has you covered. How about technologies which add to and improve RHEL? Red Hat has that in spades.
That’s mainly what a company with an open source product needs to do: become the best firm for that piece of open source software. Deliver the best service, the best features, and the best support for that software. And if that didn’t convince you, then maybe the recent $34 billion purchase of Red Hat by IBM may persuade you.