Can anyone cite an open-source project that wasn't the result of a company failing in the market?


Just thinking about open-source as an ideal, and, well, all the projects I can think of have relied on the ability for a business to fail in the open market.

There must be some intentionally started open-source projects.

Or, are market conditions essential for self interest to produce something, fail economically, and be shared for the greater good?

Just a thought, but I can’t find any examples.


Okay, Wikipedia, obviously, forget that



Also, I’d love to know what projects you’re thinking of!


I’d say there are more projects that have started as open source rather than being released post-failure. There are huge examples like Linux and Apache, Python, etc etc. Too many to list. Clay Shirky’s books are great on this stuff:


I thought Linux came from Unix being developed by AT&T.
I’m thinking mostly of creative tools, Blender, Open Libre Office. Lot’s of games, but I’m glad to be shown some good examples!


Well, if you’re thinking of Linux then that absolutely wasn’t a failure of a company.

UNIX was starting to dominate computers, despite it having a pretty awful reputation! But it was expensive, so Stallman started to build GNU - a fully free operating system, and built a huge amount of what we call Linux today. What he was missing was a kernel. Linus Torvalds built the Linux kernel and paired it with GNU to build the first Linux (or if you are Stallman, GNU/Linux).

Since then, Linux has basically replaced UNIX, so you could argue that open source caused the failure of that company :slight_smile:


…and then Apple came along :slight_smile: