I recently researched and wrote about the Open Source movement for Daitan Group, a company that provides high-quality software development services to significantly accelerate time to market for global technology companies.
In the early days of software development — when the industry was still
nascent, and coding expertise was the privilege of a few — companies that
developed software protected that software closely from distribution. Code
Intellectual Property (IP) was locked up as far away as possible by lawyers,
and the code itself accessible only to a few. Even with those restrictions,
programmers commonly shared code on an informal basis to learn from one
another. Sharing code was accepted as a valuable and efficient way of
moving learning forward at a time when software solutions were being
developed for the first time.
But in the early 1980s, this started to change. While some may consider the
entire Internet an open source software initiative in itself, it was in the 1980s
that the ‘free software’ movement began to take shape — a movement whose
goal was to encourage the free sharing, distribution, and studying of
software. In the 1990s, the free software movement matured into what was
seen as the more ‘business-friendly’ Open Source Software (OSS) movement.
Now, as we know, Open Source Software is fully mainstream.
So why would a business that has invested significant resources, time,
and energy into building proprietary market-leading software, then
choose to release the source code of that software into the public
domain? Isn’t giving away software for ‘free’ completely counter-intuitive?
Why would companies that are focused on profits and revenue
come to believe that releasing software for free is a defensible strategy?
How does that company achieve ROI on something so costly to create?
And how do those companies avoid having their competitors use the
intellectual property embedded in that software against them in the
Read the Daitan Group White Paper to read more.