Open Source Software
The web is powered by Open Source Software (OSS). From the servers websites run on, through the frameworks we build them with, to the engine of the browsers we view them in. OSS is part of our daily work and the services we use. We wouldn’t want it any other way. Compared to proprietary software, OSS has strong advantages: it becomes more trustworthy, innovative, and attracts better developers and better quality of work.
Why invest in Open Source Software?
Open Source Software (OSS) is software that is developed and maintained via open collaboration. Anyone can view, use, modify and distribute its source code freely. You can be part of this collaboration, give back to the builders, and benefit from it in terms of quality, brand building and innovation.
This is a matter of principle, or karma if that’s your thing. Others put time and effort into a piece of software that your software runs on. Giving back is the right thing to do.
Strengthen your brand
Contributing to OSS doesn’t go unnoticed. Your brand will be recognised in new places, and will be associated with being open, collaborative and building quality products.
The nature of open source software is that it is innovative, allows for exploration and combines things in new ways. Being part of this process is educational and will open up business opportunities you hadn’t considered before.
Leverage community contributions
The community surrounding your OSS product is a second (third, fourth) set of eyes to make your software more reliable, bug free, secure and robust. Openly discussing changes and new features will make them more grounded and provide context and a history to revisit.
When hiring new developers — but other roles surrounding software development, like DevOps and product owners too — your OSS contributions will give you an advantage. Good developers have a soft spot for OSS and your contributions will catch their attention.
Developers write OSS not just for themselves, but for others too. Doing your best work and then getting praise from a product owner is one thing. Getting praise from peers around the world is what really keeps developers motivated.
Check out this excellent guide on how to contribute to open source, and an overview of its history and considerations from a business standpoint.
Curious about the open source software benefits for your company?
How to make an impact with Open Source Software
If you want to make an impact on OSS as developer, supporter or sponsor, consider these three options:
Make (part of) your products open sourced. You can keep the so-called “secret sauce” to yourself, but there are always bits that can be split off and developed separately. Those bits might become an OSS package that anyone can use. An example: the part that processes an image is open source, but the magic super fast pipeline you use it on, and sell as a service, is proprietary.
Contribute to OS projects, especially the ones you use for your own product. It will make your own product better and you help the community. If you don’t want to contribute by writing code, consider investing in improving documentation, an OS landing page, organising an event, writing blogs or tutorials, or promoting the software on your social channels.
Support OS financially. The open source software your digital product relies on, relies on the people that maintain those projects. By supporting them financially, they can maintain and improve that software, which ensures your product can keep using it. It’s easily done, because there’s a platform for that: Open Collective.
Up to 10% impact discount!
We’d love to help you make an impact. If you commit to making your digital product open source, you’re eligible for our impact discount. Want to know more?