How do open source projects make money? | Travis Oliphant and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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October 1, 2021
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Lex Clips
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How do open source projects make money? | Travis Oliphant and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

This content explores the relationship between open source software development and the necessity of creating profits, highlighting the need for understanding basic economics in the field.

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Questions & Answers

Q: Why does the speaker not like the requirement of proprietary software to run their code?

The speaker believes in the freedom of open source and finds it limiting to have to rely on specific proprietary software to execute their code. They want their work to be accessible to everyone, regardless of software dependencies.

Q: How does the speaker view the culture surrounding MATLAB?

The speaker acknowledges that MATLAB has a dedicated user base and appreciates their efforts. However, they find that the corporate culture associated with MATLAB can be restrictive and inhibiting to open development.

Q: How did the speaker navigate the challenge of making money while preserving the culture of open source?

The speaker delves into studying economics to find a solution. They wanted to find a way to balance making a living with the cooperative ethos of open source. It led them to explore entrepreneurship and the importance of understanding basic economics in software development.

Q: What insights did the speaker gain from their study of economics?

Some key insights include the significance of private property rights, the emergence of a price system through trade, the importance of prices as a signaling mechanism, and the need to teach economics to ensure prosperity and informed decision-making.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The speaker recognizes the value of both proprietary software and open source, but dislikes the requirement of proprietary software to run code.

  • They discuss the corporate culture surrounding software like MATLAB, which can be limiting for developers.

  • The speaker reflects on their personal journey of exploring the business of open source and the challenges of balancing cooperative development with making a living.

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