“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” — Henry Ford
Truer words were never spoken. The start-up scene is rife with such obstacles, and if you take your eye off the target, you leave your jugular open to attack. It’s a cutthroat world where you’re afforded little to no breathing space.
I, myself, am quite familiar with this world having started not one but two start-ups!
Back in 2012, when I first took the plunge, and ventured into the tech start-up scene, it was still at a budding stage. Fast-forward a few years, PayTM, Quikr along with Ola all got their major investments during this period. As per Inc42’s Indian Tech Startup Funding Report 2017, around $13.5 Bn was invested in the Indian start-up ecosystem through 885 deals in 2017 alone. Did you know that 1000+ start-ups were launched in 2017? This has strengthened India’s position as the third largest start-up ecosystem in the world behind UK and Israel. The time has never been more right for an Indian entrepreneur looking to jumpstart his/ her own venture.
I know I paint quite a rosy picture above. But as the age-old adage goes, don’t count your eggs before they hatch! For every success story, there are quite a few firms which had to close down operations. Overreaching beyond their means by indulging in massive hiring or not receiving funding at the right time, there were many a start-up who couldn’t take the next step and had to shed a lot of excess.
You need to be financially prudent and ensure you have sufficient funds with you for your day to day expenses, employees’ salaries and to upgrade.
This is where open source comes in. Rather than going for expensive solutions, go for open source software (OSS). There is a plethora of open source solutions available which are free to use, copy, study and customize as per your needs. The source code is available to one and all and if you’re running an up-and-coming start-up, make use of it!
It’s a sure-fire way to cut down on your costs and apart from being economical, open source offers accessibility, quality and timely maintenance provided by a thriving community of developers. Open source is a veritable box of goodies. There’s something for everyone no matter how eclectic their taste might be.
Leverage this advantage. Maximize it.
Let’s explore how you can make use of OSS to boost your start-up’s productivity.
#1 OSS Equals Cost Benefits Galore
OSS is freely available to you. Compared to licensed proprietary software which requires firms to heavily invest in, open source solutions are a great alternative option. Though, it does have certain costs pertaining to subscription, upgrade and maintenance, it offers the freedom and flexibility of features. You can make huge savings by going the OSS way and invest the same in other areas such as recruitment of quality personnel.
#2 Harnessing the Power of Open Source Community
Being a start-up, most likely than not, you’d be strapped of funds, affecting your ability to hire quality people. You might have to make tough decisions with respect to the personnel you want to recruit. By using OSS or Open source software, you won’t have to maintain a robust in-house IT team, as you can mobilize the open source community’s values of collaboration and volunteerism to your benefit. The community will help you augment your productivity levels and harness the power of high quality products that come with superior security.
#3 Crowdsourcing Your Way to Success
Since open source software is crowdsourced, you get myriad benefits – cost, flexibility, freedom, security, and accountability – unmatched by proprietary software solutions. The source code is updated on a frequent basis, offering higher security and stability. Mozilla Firefox, a free and open source web browser, had no less than 19 updates in 2017 and has already released 27 versions in 2018 alone. Phew!
#4 Freedom from Vendor Lock-in
Proprietary software leaves you vulnerable to becoming locked in by the vendors or technology. If this happens, you’re at their mercy and susceptible to frequent price increase along with the lack of flexibility. Open source software affords you the freedom from vendor lock-in, assuring long-term viability.
#5 Integrated Management at Your Service
Open source software uses technologies like common information model (CIM) and web-based enterprise management (WBEM) which help you to integrate and combine different servers, applications, and execute workstation management efficiently. Employing integrated management at your start-up would enable your organization to deliver its objectives in an effective manner. You’ll also be able to monitor risks and lower the incidence of inefficiencies, while maximizing your resources at the same time. It’s a win-win!
At the core of its essence, open source software offers an opportunity to plant your feet on the ground and spread your roots. You need strong roots to take on the Goliath’s of this world and need every bit of ingenuity and advantage that you can muster, to have a chance of success.