commercial open source software (COSS)

See the following -

3 Steps For Product Marketing Your Open Source Project

Product marketing for COSS is materially different from product marketing for proprietary software and from general marketing practices like ads, lead generation, sponsorships, booths at conferences and trade shows, etc. Because the source code is open for all to see and the project's evolutionary history is completely transparent, you need to articulate—from a technical level to a technical audience—how and why your project works. Using the word "marketing" in this context is, in fact, misleading. It's really about product education. Your role is more like a coach, mentor, or teaching assistant in a computer science class or a code bootcamp than a "marketing person."

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A Framework For Building Products From Open Source Projects

If your experience with technology resembles mine in any way, you know intuitively that the projects we DIY are not the same as the products we spend money buying. This isn't a new observation in the open source community...Sarah Novotny, who led the Kubernetes community and was heavily involved in the Nginx and MySQL communities, emphatically articulated at the inaugural Open Core Summit that the open source project a company shepherds and the product that a company sells are two completely different things. Yet, project and product continue to be conflated by maintainers-turned-founders of commercial open source software (COSS) companies, especially (and ironically) when the open source project gets traction. This mistake gets repeated, I believe, because it's hard to mentally conceptualize how and why a commercial product should be different when the open source project is already being used widely.

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What is open core?

What is open core? Is a project open core, or is a business open core? That's debatable. Like open source, some view it as a development model, others view it as a business model. As a product manager, I view it more in the context of value creation and value capture...With open core, at least some of the code is proprietary. With proprietary code, a company hires engineers, solves business problems, and charges for that software. For the proprietary portion of the code base, there is no community-based engineering, so there's no process by which a community member can profit by participating. With proprietary code, a dollar invested in engineering is a dollar returned in code. Unlike open source, a proprietary development process can't return more value than the engineering team contributes...