You may have came across people saying their top notch project as an open source and you may have wandered that how they make their money. Well, that’s not a bad question at all. Many Organizations have been Open Source and are very big corporates.

Consider an Open Source project Ubuntu - the top Linux distribution that is people using next to Windows or Mac Operating Systems. It is an open-source community driven project backed by Canonical Ltd. So, we’ll be marking this as an example and state the following ways of making money.

  1. Open-Source — This is the main point since open source projects were community driven - that means 90% of the people work for free. The remaining 10% may be the maintenance guys working on the project. So, this thing reduces the wages that the company or the project owner should give away.

  2. Bloatware — Bloatware constitutes almost 60% of the open source community. If you’re wondering what a bloatware is just read this. In our example - Ubuntu OS made some bloatwares like Amazon integration into the unity dash. Another example is flash player installs you McAfee Anti Virus or Chrome when you download them. These are the examples of the bloatwares.

  3. Providing some functionality space to others — This process too constitutes some money. Let us consider the Firefox browser in which it has a deal with Google worth $300 million for every year being the default search provider. That was very high before Chrome was introduced.

  4. Company's market share — This is also a worth of the pack since the company which maintains the software project will get its shares high when many people are using it. For example, consider the shares of Canonical Ltd. which runs the Ubuntu project.

  5. Selling Documentations and Expertise as Consultant — This is the part where most of the people are falling in. You can also sell the documentations or since you own the copyright for that project you also own some royalty towards it. So, money flows in.

There are similarly many more projects that earn money but many people don’t know how do they exactly make it. These are just the things that I know. Worth it? Please share your thoughts on the comments.