The very essence of open source anything is that it is free. Many people view ‘free’ as meaning inferior in quality, design or delivery, and while that might be true of some open source products, it would be unfair to tarnish the whole notion with the same brush. Open source is more than a product or a piece of software, it is an ideology borne from the concept of a level playing field for all businesses, irrespective of their profit margins, cash flow or origins. Open source is good for smaller startups eager to excel and compete with their long-established rivals. Take a look at why you might want to tap into the open source market.
Many people rely on good old tried and tested Microsoft for their server capabilities. While a market leader in the field, the IIS platform is also lucratively expensive for the small startup. Instead, you shouldn’t be fearful about trying Apache, a large open source competitor. Free, reliable and intuitive, you could be saving money by switching server platform.
Perhaps not strictly open source by design, the notion of global app testing in a free crowdfunding sense is not a new one. With people eager to try out the latest gadgets, gizmos, and apps, you could tap into this thirst and encourage a small sample of testers to try out your app and give constructive and technical feedback. While you could outsource this task to a specialist company, you could achieve the same, if not better testing results, with a crowdfunding option.
With flexible working becoming the lifestyle of choice for many tech bods, it’s becoming more important than ever to provide the capability of collaborative working for people who may be sat at their laptops thousands of miles apart. Kolab is just one of many free tools that facilitate collaboration across a range of projects. Keeping your team cohesive no matter where they are situated is key to morale and productivity. Skype calls and messenger communications are also free, used worldwide and renowned for being optimum open source products that businesses use globally.
You could even utilize the free nature of social media applications and use them in a working capacity. Facebook groups and Twitter feeds can all be used in a professional setting. Just be wary of personal and sensitive data and keep this strictly within secure cloud-based packages.
At it’s very basic, there are hundreds of open source equivalents available to the masses in lieu of Microsoft Office Suite. While it was once a monopoly, different word processing, Excel-esque and Powerpoint-like alternatives are now free and simple to use. Taking their formatting and menus from the original, OpenOffice and LibreOffice are just two open source rivals vying for users.
While it can be tough to decipher the quality from the inferior, using open source alternatives to expensive established market leaders can save you money and enhance your startup’s chances of success.