Three years ago Hortonworks led a chorus of open source Kumbaya as it sought to differentiate itself in the rapidly growing Hadoop market. Today, Hortonworks has significantly changed its tune, embracing proprietary software as a way to improve its financials.
The only shocker here is that it took so long.
Last month I declared that “there’s no money in open source.” While open source has become essential for every business, selling open-source software is an exercise in self-hurt and business model gymnastics. Hence, the most successful open source companies aren’t open source companies at all: They’re companies like Facebook that liberally embrace and contribute open-source code, but don’t sell it.