For years, $1 billion was the goal for open-source companies. Back in 2006, RedMonk analyst Stephen O’Grady suggested that it wasn’t necessarily the ultimate goal, but he also pondered whether open-source economics could measure up to $1 billion. Then, in 2012, Red Hat surpassed $1 billion in annual revenue, and as an industry, we largely gave up the goal of there ever being another.
In fact, former XenSource CEO Peter Levine argued that there will never be another $1 billion Red Hat (echoing my thoughts back in 2011). It’s not that companies using open source won’t make a lot of money, but they won’t make $1 billion selling support.