Why do companies publish free and open source software?

Mayank Chaudhari
3 min readMar 2, 2024

Are you a Software developer? Or at least have you used any of the freely available pieces of software? Do you wonder who creates these software and why do they do so?

In today’s interconnected world, the decision to publish open-source software has become increasingly common among companies seeking to harness the power of collaboration, innovation, and community engagement. Open-source software, characterized by its transparency, accessibility, and collaborative nature, offers numerous benefits to both companies and the wider developer community. Let’s explore the multifaceted reasons why companies choose to embrace open source, examining how it catalyzes innovation, fosters community, and enhances brand reputation, among other advantages.

  1. Community Engagement: Open-sourcing software creates a vibrant community of developers and users who collaborate, share knowledge, and contribute improvements, enriching the software’s ecosystem and driving its evolution.
  2. Innovation Catalyst: By opening up their software, companies invite external developers to explore novel use cases, experiment with new features, and contribute innovative solutions, expanding the possibilities beyond the company’s internal resources.
  3. Interoperability Promotion: Open-source implementations of protocols, formats, or APIs facilitate interoperability and standardization within industries or technology ecosystems, fostering collaboration and compatibility.
  4. Talent Magnet: Companies that actively contribute to open source attract top talent who are drawn to the values of transparency, collaboration, and community involvement, bolstering recruitment efforts and nurturing a culture of innovation.
  1. Brand Enhancement: Embracing open source enhances a company’s reputation as a leader in technology and innovation, signaling a commitment to openness, collaboration, and social responsibility, which resonates with customers and stakeholders.
  2. Cost Efficiency: Sharing the development and maintenance costs with the community reduces financial burdens, making open-source software a cost-effective option for both the company and other organizations, particularly startups and non-profits.
  3. Compliance Assurance: Open-sourcing software ensures compliance with licensing requirements, mitigating legal risks associated with proprietary software and fostering a culture of transparency and legal integrity.
  4. Ecosystem Growth: Open-source projects catalyze the growth of larger ecosystems, fostering the development of complementary tools, services, and businesses, creating new markets and revenue opportunities for all stakeholders.
  5. Market Differentiation: Embracing open source sets companies apart from competitors, demonstrating a commitment to transparency, collaboration, and social impact, which resonates with customers and investors.
  6. Global Impact: Open-source contributions have a global reach, democratizing access to technology, fostering innovation in underserved communities, and driving positive societal change through collaborative problem-solving.


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Mayank Chaudhari

Technical Writer | Developer | Researcher | Freelancer | Open Source Contributor