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TRANSLOADIT - Executive Predictions for 2018

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Open by default

My prediction for 2018 is that an overwhelming number of companies will be transitioning to open tech. Within ten years, I expect all significantly complex and successful back-end technology to be open source. It is already hard to name a market where open source doesn’t either have the most momentum, or outright dominates it – be it mobile operating systems, cloud orchestration, browsers or transcoding software. A lot of money is still being made in these domains, but mostly by companies providing complementary services around a core that is open source. Not a single new successful proprietary database has been released in over a decade, while open variants are flourishing.

Many companies that traditionally kept technology close to their chest, are now betting on open source: Microsoft Edge has an open source engine at its core, Windows 10 embeds Linux as does Azure, and Oracle is acquiring open solutions to complement their proprietary offering. We will also soon see a new open codec called AV1, which is royalty-free and backed by Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Mozilla. Our own cloud encoding scale-up Transloadit will be among the firsts to support it.

Looking at our own company, the advantages of going “open by default” are clear to see. We have been able to decimate expenses in R&D, Marketing and Recruitment, while simultaneously improving product quality and attracting more customers and talent alike.

Whenever we create new software, it’s open source – and some of these releases have even become industry standards. tus.io and uppy.io, for instance, are already changing how the world does file uploading. Each of these therefore not only serves as a compelling onramp to our commercial offering, they provide greater value by being free for anyone to use. If there is one thing science teaches us, it is that sharing accomplishments for others to build upon leads to evolutionary progress at revolutionary speed.

Kevin van Zonneveld


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