Wordpress founder Matt Mullenweg recently delivered a "state of the nation" address at WordCamp, Wordpress' user and developer conference. It turns out that open source can be very good for business. Very, very good.
Consider this growth at Wordpress:
- Page views grew from 1.5 billion to 6.5 billion/month
- 1/3 of the page views come from VIPs like CNN and LOLCats
- 120-160 million global unique visitors per month
- Two million new blogs created for the year
- 35 million new blog posts (up from 20 million)
Everything you see here, from the documentation to the code itself, was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it. (More than most commercial platforms.) It also means you are free to use it for anything from your cat's home page to a Fortune 5 web site without paying anyone a license fee.
It's a model that is delivering significant results. Perhaps "community" is an overused term, but at Wordpress/Automattic, it actually means something. It means development, but that development has translated into exceptional growth.