Why is Open Source Good for Business and People?

Let’s face it, the UI and UX may sometimes still be a bit clunky in Open Source, but we can no longer deny the fact that the entire market is moving toward an open model. 97% of companies now run at least some Open Source software.

More and more of the planet’s biggest companies are adopting OSS. In fact, the world sat up and took notice recently when Elon Musk announced that he is thinking of open-sourcing Tesla’s software.

Other giants are already operating in the space; Google and Baidu spent from $20 billion to $30 billion on AI last year, almost all of which is being done in Open Source.

If you are a developer, a customer, or a startup software house considering Open Source as an option, you may be familiar with a few of the drawbacks and wonder if it is really for you. At Mirumee, we know the answer. A decade ago, we set up the company with the belief that Open Source was the best foundation to evolve our products and our people — and nothing that we have encountered along the way has changed our minds.

Here are our top three reasons why Open Source is a great option for developing products, both as a coder and a customer; why it is a sound model for business; and why the Open Source culture makes a measurable difference.

Open Source: A Catalyst for Personal and Software Development

Open Source is a built upon an ideology. Those who love the technology must have a fundamental belief in the power of community and the value of continuous development. Whereas a traditional proprietary solution is eventually signed off and presented in a final format, Open Source software is always open for changes and development. It never stops being a work in progress. However, that is not to say that it is a never-ending story. In fact, whilst many massive in-house IT projects sit in the dreaded black hole of unfinished ideas, Open Source projects usually reach fruition and are then refined and redefined as the community searches for and enhances their value.

Open Source developers are problem-solvers. And, in our opinion, they are usually the very best coders out there, because they are constantly interacting with more experienced people in the OS community and learning from feedback and challenges.


There is no better way to become a great developer than to leverage the skills and experience of a massive network of people who actually want you to succeed. It is a giving and affirmative community that celebrates success — and that is why Open Source ultimately creates great software solutions.

Creative and talented people can always get involved and find a foothold from which they can develop their skills. OS contributors are self-starters and self-organizers who look for the places where their specific talents fit the wider project, as contributors, community managers, or moderators.

Business will Thrive if You Fully Buy into Open Source

If you are mulling over using Open Source as a business model, don’t think about it as a “way in”, think of it as a “way of life”. Most successful open-source software houses do not consider free offerings to clients as a worm on the hook to get customers in and then offer them paid services. The best in the business are those who are simply passionate and engaged in Open Source — as Richard St John said in his famous TED talk: “You have to have a passion for what you do. Do it for love not money, then the money comes anyway.”

For example, our work on platforms like Saleor, which we build and maintain — and is one of the fastest growing Open Source ecommerce platforms written in Python/Django — is not a purely monetary play. We offer separate bespoke solutions to clients in different industries that are a large part of our revenue stream. Our Open Source efforts are, therefore, something more ideological. We love working in Python and Django, and we use those projects to improve our skills and to showcase ourselves to clients.


You don’t even have to have your own project to start an Open Source business. If you can contribute to an existing solution like Saleor, and find an additional feature or service which you can develop and market to clients, then you offer something of value to both customers and the OSS community.

And it’s not just in the coding; one thing that we challenge people to do with Saleor is to constantly work on the UI and UX aspects of the solution, so that it goes from glitchy to glitzy.

Establish a Strong Identity Through Open Source

A clear identity creates a clear path for your people and projects.

Having all of your people understand the identity of your company is also essential to offering value to customers. A good business is one that has an overarching ethos that everyone can buy into. For us, having a clear way of working gives employees that sense of identity; one that is based on the Open Source principles of trust, maturity and a positive attitude towards constant learning. More importantly, a strong identity means that the company and its people are aware of our own strengths and our place in the market. We are not a Jack of all trades, but we are a master of at least one. We have grown to become the #1 Python contributors to Open Source in Poland by focusing on who we are and what we do best.

Open Source is also a great starting point for the culture of a business. The community, by its very nature, is one where people know how to give and receive feedback and want to empower others to win. Whether people come to us with that attitude already in their DNA, and thus it is what attracts them to an Open Source environment, or whether exposure to Open Source brings that out in people, is a chicken-egg debate. Which came first is not really important; the final result is that Open Source companies usually have a spirit of community at heart.

The Future is Bright with Open Source

The sustainability and continued value of any Open Source project relies upon some financial support to non-profit organizations like the Django Software Foundation, who promote and support the framework. We believe that any company which makes money using Open Source as a basis for business should consider contributing to keep it in good shape, thus protecting their own future.

For us at Mirumee, sustainability is not just about giving financial support, it is about helping to build a thriving community for the future. We love to get involved in that aspect by organizing events such as Mirumee Talks, sponsoring conferences like Django: Under the Hood, and supporting initiatives to grow diversity in our Open Source world with groups like Django Girls.

What are your thoughts on the best bits of Open Source? If you have any feedback, or a project or idea you want talk about, we’d love to hear from you.