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re: I'm Joseph Jacks, founder of OSS Capital, ask me anything! VIEW POST


Hi JJ, is there a "why now" reason for open source, or has major investment in commercial open source always been feasible?


I believe the "Why now" can be answered in the context of Open Source 20 ~ years "in", since the creation of the definition Bruce Perens wrote in 1998...and even 35+ years "in" if we factor against the founding of Richard Stallman's Free Software as a movement before Open Source (read more about that history here: ...

Here are the major changes over the last 15 ~ years that have made Open Source arguably the most significant movement in technology and, in particular, COSS (Commercial Open Source Software) a new kind of powerful and, I believe, the fastest growing category:

  • the rise of Git networks and developer populations globally: GitLab and GitHub did not exist and now they serve 40M+ developers, and DEV (this site) serves 5M+ developers, and growing exponentially

  • cloud computing: cloud basically did not exist and now it is huge

  • successful COSS examples: COSSI has grown from less than 5 companies to 44+ in half this time and from $10B~ to $145B+ in 6 years or so

  • the continued growth of developers globally: 40M developers globally today, and that number could be growing by 50% YOY over the coming decade, compounding ... this will be hundreds of millions of developers in a pretty short period ... the implications of this are profound

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