Open Source 2.0 – The SaaS & Open Core Era

The article “Open Source: From Community to Commercialization” lists three Open Source eras:

  • Open Source 0.0 – The “Free Software” era
  • Open Source 1.0 – The Support and Services era
  • Open Source 2.0 – The SaaS & Open Core Era

Cloud computing opened the aperture and allowed companies to run open source software-as-a-service (SaaS). Once I can host an open source service in the cloud, the user does not know or care if there is open source or proprietary software under the hood, leading to similar valuations of open source and proprietary companies and indicating that open source really has real economic and strategic value.

  • Open Source 3.0 – Open Source is a part of every software company

Open Source 3.0 will expand how we think of and define open source businesses. Open source will no longer be RedHat, Elastic, Databricks, and Cloudera; it will be – at least in part – Facebook, Airbnb, Google, and any other business that has open source as a key part of its stack. When we look at open source this way, then the renaissance underway may only be in its infancy. The market and possibilities for open source software are far greater than we have yet realized.


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