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Open source needs successful champions

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In an interview with ZDNet Asia Wednesday, Jim Whitehurst said revenue models of open source proponents such as Red Hat itself and Google, have brought success to the respective companies and allowed them to contribute back to the open source community. Google relies on ad-based revenue, while Red Hat's revenue runs on a subscription model.

Whitehurst acknowledged that the bulk of Google's revenues are not generated through open source software, but noted that success from companies active in open source in is still beneficial to the industry.

"The open source [community] certainly needs successful companies in order to ensure venture capital [for] startups, and to give people looking to join open source companies the sense that they can be successful," he said.

On Red Hat's own success, he noted: "People see how fast we've grown, and how profitable we are and say 'I want to do that'. That really helps money flow into open source."

He added that he hopes to see more successful revenue models arise.

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