Justin and the Technically Team
Dec. 19, 2023, 5:12 p.m.
Hello dear paid subscribers, and welcome to the seventh issue of Ask Technically. You know the drill — you ask questions about software, hardware, and everything in between, and I’ll tackle a few every issue to make sure everyone gets a quality and thorough answer.
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Without further ado...---
Ellie asks…what’s the difference between open source and open core?
I’ll give some more context on the difference between these two terms and their history in a second, but it’s worth mentioning that in a lot of cases, the answer is to this question is just: marketing. Since I first wrote about open source in 2020, companies have gotten even more aggressive at using open source as a marketing tactic. So in many cases, the term chosen is more about what sounds good and cool than what actually is true under the hood. With that out of the way…
As a refresher, open source technically means that an app’s code is publicly available, but more generally refers to the movement of communities of developers building transparent, open codebases free for everyone to use. Open core, on the other hand, usually refers to a type of business model where: