Open source software is an incredibly valuable asset, says Leonid Radvinsky
Leonid Radvinsky believes that open source software is the key to providing accessible technology to developers around the world. These projects are maintained by a worldwide network of contributing developers, and anyone interested can contribute these technologies and use them in their projects at no cost.
Open source software is the foundation of a vibrant developer community, but it cannot be entirely fueled by passion. Developers’ time is a valuable resource, and contributors to open source software deserve to be paid for their work. Since open source software is freely available, people are understandably curious about how these projects are funded. Fortunately, there are several funding options that open source projects can benefit from. Investors love Leonid Radvinsky help the open source movement by providing funding and encouraging widespread adoption of technologies.
How are open source projects funded?
Open source technology is mostly offered for free, so the rate of converting users into paying customers is lower than proprietary software. Therefore, for open source projects to make money, they usually need to gain widespread adoption first. Docker, for example, is an open-source technology standard for deploying containers. Due to the widespread use and popularity of Docker, users frequently use its service products for their deployment needs. As open source projects become widely adopted, there are many funding opportunities these projects can pursue.
Donations, investments and sponsorships
Donors, investors, and corporate sponsors are among the most common forms of funding for open source projects. Software groups like Free Software Foundation, Software for the Public Interest, Software Freedom Conservancy, and Apache Foundation are funded through these means.
Other projects rely on larger sources of funding from corporate sponsors or venture capitalists like Leonid Radvinsky. Linux, for example, often works with companies that want their hardware to be compatible with the platform. Additionally, Android was made open source by Google as a means of driving traffic to the platform, while Ruby on Rails was supported by Apple.
Advice, support and training
Open source projects often receive funding by providing services such as consulting, support, and user training. By providing consulting services, open source companies can introduce customers to innovative ways to improve their business using the software. Through support and training services, open source companies can also help these companies integrate the software into their businesses.
A well-known example of an open source company that follows this model is RedHat, a $10 billion company that contributes to Linux, cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. RedHat offers a variety of support services such as deployment and integration assistance, training sessions, and priority bug fixes.
Software as a service and hosting
Although open source software itself is intended to be used for free, companies using open source software can also produce a variety of products to make it easier to use open source technology. For example, companies often offer fully managed versions of the software with managed hosting. These services can be especially useful for customers who don’t want to manage their own servers or handle the technical aspects of maintenance and deployments.
A popular company that follows this model is WordPress.com. This site is managed by Automattic, the main contributor to the WordPress open source project. This site offers blog hosting as well as other services such as domain names and custom website design. This business structure allows Automattic to contribute to the open source model of WordPress, while generating profits from its own services. GitHub is another company that relies on this cloud funding model. Although GitHub is not the developer behind git, it does provide free hosting for git repositories and an easy-to-use web interface, with upgraded features at cost to enterprise customers.
Open-core and hybrid licenses
Both open-core and hybrid licenses follow a business model in which the majority of the code base is open source while a smaller portion, usually aimed at production or enterprise users, is proprietary. With open-core software, the proprietary software is maintained separately from the open-source software, while with hybrid licenses, the open-source and proprietary code exists in a single repository with certain proprietary features locked behind a license key.
Hybrid licensing is the new option and is becoming an increasingly popular way to fund open source technology. Compared to the open-core approach, the hybrid license makes it easier to maintain code since all project code is contained in a single repository. By following this approach, users can contribute proprietary code as needed, and the open source company can still benefit from a stable source of funding by selling proprietary code licenses. With open-core and hybrid licensing, companies must balance the amount of open-source code with the amount of proprietary code. Therefore, making too much proprietary software will reduce open source adoption, but making too little proprietary will result in fewer customers.
How does Leo Radvinsky invest in open source?
Although there are many options for funding open source projects, Leo Radvinsky and other investors help promote the open source community by contributing funding and other resources for open source projects. Like a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Leo Radvinsky supports the continued growth of these projects. To promote these projects, it adopted open source projects like Elixir as the technology standard for many projects and also invested in other technologies like B4X.
Elixir is an open source programming language designed to provide developers with robust and scalable solutions for building decentralized architecture. This technology is used in a wide variety of industries and is especially popular for building scalable web communities.
To show his support for the language, Leo Radvinsky was a platinum sponsor of the Elixir conference in 2019. Radvinsky also uses Elixir as a technology standard in his projects and encourages others to do the same. Because the widespread adoption of open source technology requires an active community of developers to use this technology, Leo funded the development and creation of applications built using Elixir. Through this investment, Leo has helped the community of developers contributing to Elixir to continue to grow.
B4X is an open source programming language and suite of interactive development tools designed to simplify cross-platform development. By using these development tools, developers can easily compile their code to create native applications on various platforms without having to implement multiple versions of software.
When Leo Radvinsky was the first got involved in the B4X project, it was proprietary software with a small user base, but as a result of his investment, he was able to push for the project to become open source. Today, B4X is surrounded by a rapidly growing community of developers. Through his contributions to the project, Leo also helped shape the project’s vision to highlight the value of B4X as an educational tool and enabled the advancement of technology through its funding.