Online retailer Flipkart is looking to cut down on technology refinement costs by opening its technology platforms to software coders. Making its source code open source allows firms or individuals to freely create new applications for the entire ecommerce industry. The company made its product “Phantom” open source three months ago and just recently made “HostDB” open source. Contributors to open source code do not receive payment their work, which greatly cuts down on costs. Companies do not necessarily benefit from contributors’ work, but often small improvements can be implemented into their programs. Allowing the public to create this new code reduces risk and cost to minimal values.
Flipkart is not the first company to make its code open to the public – Google and Facebook are two of the largest companies to have done this in the past. Android’s development by Google was aided by contributions via open source. Hadoop – software that stores open source data sets – is projected to grow immensely in the future; currently worth $1.5 billion, the company is expected be worth over $20 billion in 2018. This projection underscores technology refinement’s large costs and one industry’s creative way to reduce them.