We really need to stop it with posts intended to proffer the secret to open source success (TL;DR be like Confluent). It turns out that market dynamics determine the right model for a given company. The industry wasted a decade trying to ape the Red Hat model. It didn’t work. As Peter Levine, general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote back in 2014, there will never be another Red Hat. If he were to write that post today, he might also argue that there will never be another Confluent.
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