This morning I went on a company visit to Primer. Primer offered a great example of a successful startup on their way up. They had a very nice, but small office full of many work spaces, noticeably not separated by cubicles. They seemed to be on their way to becoming a big company. How is this all possible? I ask myself, how can a software company even get their name out there when companies like google exist?
Recently they made a choice to go open source. This means that their software is made freely available to the public to use and modify as they see fit. The change was rather recent, but they mentioned that they already think that it was a good idea for their startup. The free software is a good way to get people to try your software, and to gain traction by getting a fanbase. If the customer decides that they like the software they can pay for a more advanced package.
Mesosphere is another company we visited that went open source as well, they were further along than primer with about 400 employees in a few different locations. We spoke Mesosphere’s president and COO William Freiberg, he said that going open scource was the best option for his company. It helps them start a conversation with people who are interested in the product, and develop a base in the market. He also added that it gave them a competitive advantage in the market, and that in the future going open source will be necessary for all software startups.