Updates
October 8, 2015
The use of open source to develop new software products is widespread among technology startups, to the point that there are over 25 million repositories on GitHub, over 430,000 projects on SourceForge and over 21 billion lines of indexed and searchable open source code on the Black Duck Open Hub. Technology startups use open source in three main ways:

1. As a tool to aid development, typically used as-is in binary form without any modifications;
2. Without modifications, but combined with proprietary code; or
3. With modifications and combined with proprietary code.

The latter two uses of open source software are directed toward developing proprietary software—augmenting, modifying or incorporating existing open source code with proprietary code to offer something new and different to the market. Such use in software development is common, but does present potential hurdles or drawbacks, of which technology startups should be keenly aware when deciding to incorporate open source in their technology products. 

There are many considerations startups must consider when using open source, but two in particular stand out. For additional analysis, please click here.