Yesterday Nginx Inc announced that it had taken $3 million USD in funding. No one deserves this more than Igor Sysoev and it’s hard to believe that Nginx wasn’t commercialized sooner. Well deserved or not, though, whether this funding is good for Nginx or not is up for debate.
To understand the whole aspect of the deal I’ll first cover the worst-case scenario that people might fear happening. I’ll later on cover why this case is unlikely, so please do finish reading before considering me a moron.
The FUD Aspect
Getting funded means a business person has seen potential and decided to invest money to get a return. There’s really no way to deny this, philanthropy simply does not happen in the start-up world unless you’re being funded by your rich but slightly senile aunt. Eventually this business man will want to get a return on his investment and this means the Nginx Inc will have to become profitable. How does an open source project become profitable, though?
- Going closed source and commercializing the product.
- Creating a closed source enterprise version to develop alongside open source version.
- Keeping the core product open and developing commercial extensions of that product.
- Keeping product open sourced and selling support, training and resources.