By some estimates there are roughly 190 million companies on earth today. Imagine if they were all contributing to open source. Of course, most of those companies aren’t in a position to contribute code, but if we want truly sustainable, customer-friendly open source, it’s time to focus on the best possible source: companies that don’t sell software.
Why? Because the more software is built to suit the needs of those who are actually running it day-to-day, the better that software will be, and the less we’ll need to worry about sustainability.
Make someone pay for this
Despite the fact that open source has never been more broadly used, apparently we’re in an “open source sustainability” crisis. It’s the same “crisis” we’ve been in for the past 20 years, with persistent warnings that this can’t last. I wrote about it in 2008 (“Open source has the chance of becoming a nonrenewable resource if enterprises consume it without contributing cash or code back”), but by 2013 my concern had faded:
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