On healthy Libre/FLOSS communities - Blender by the numbers over 2019

Zenaan Harkness zen at freedbms.net
Tue Mar 3 04:21:01 PST 2020

FLOSS/libre software which finds use beyond a niche, and therefore a relevant developer base, in time becomes first a viable option for one or another use case, later a viable replacement for one or more proprietary alternatives, and finally reaches a superiority in various metrics (features, stability, available dev/employee base from which companies can draw, etc).

Some years back, folks thought 3D development environment software was too niche, too "technical" and therefore too costly to replace proprietary alternatives with libre software.

Then Blender appeared in the early days of the kickstarter concept getting going, and readily raised the sought after $100K to free this (then proprietary) code.

The rest as they say, is history, and Blender is a good case study for the floss progression chart - where exactly you would say it is on that chart, likely depends on you or your project's particular needs at this point in time.

  Blender by the Numbers – 2019

One lesson at hand is that if your project or company is long term and not short term, then the sooner you and your team begin to get up to speed with, and contribute to, the floss alternative(s), the greater the head start you, your team and your company will have over the competition, at least in the long term.

Identifying, for a particular technology/ software, the point at which medium to long term gains financially justify money spent in the short term on the floss/libre alternatives, is a skill that any competent manager has.

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