Red Hat used to wear the open source crown. Then Google. But Facebook and other web giants now contribute the most to open source.
ReadWrite, October 17, 2013
Quick question: which is the largest open source company on Earth? That’s easy, right? It’s clearly Red Hat. After all, the company pulls in over $1 billion each year selling services around open-source software like Linux and JBoss.
But as I’ve argued before, such a distinction fits a very old-school understanding of open source business. Back in 2009, I suggested that Google was the world’s biggest open source company, given the copious quantities of code it contributes, not to mention its source code repository, inspiration of massive projects like Hadoop and other contributions. While some took exception to my classification of Google as an open source company, I still think it was accurate.
Except that Google is no longer the biggest open source company. Facebook is.
Phi Beta Iota: We beg to differ. Certainly Facebook is making some great technical moves, but its human moves stink and its “substance” resembles glop. Much more interesting to us is the pioneering work of Dr. Patrick Meier and the hundreds of thousands of volunteer members of Crisis Mappers, which is ready to spin off Corruption Mappers, Vote Mappers, True Cost Mappers, and so on. In the end, the only system worth anything to the public at large is the Autonomous Internet, of, by, and for We the People. Zuckerberg is a genius, but sadly he is a corrupt genius, largely disconnected from reality and the potential power for good that his digital empire represents.