Standing on the shoulders of giants
There's power in simplicity. Nowhere is this more obvious than on the web where a simple, nicely laid-out web page can mean the difference between long-term engagement and immediate exit. Elegance however, often belies the knowledge, craftsmanship and sheer effort that goes into a ‘final product’. A successful product might even be considered the ability to distil the maximum amount of knowledge, skill and endeavour into the most easily-consumable package.
On the web, even dismissing the actual framework and infrastructure involved in just loading up a web page on your device of choice, there's an entire iceberg of processes and work and refinement and knowledge that goes on beneath the surface to ensure that a page is fast, stable, secure, accessible, informative, attractive, engaging, maintainable etc etc. For a small team, developing that product could be an overwhelming prospect. This is where the true benefit of open source software lies.
Open source software is software that is written and shared publicly. The source code is openly available for anyone skilled enough to interrogate and improve and submit back. Why would anyone spend time writing useful code, only to give it away? Well, the idea is that a collective of individuals is far more powerful than any single person. With an entire global team of skilled developers finding and fixing bugs 24x7, improving security and performance and contributing their improvements back to the core code-base, open source software can evolve into something extraordinarily powerful, and empowering.
At Setsquare, our core product is built upon open source software. We use a project called Umbraco as the basis of our content management system. The project is constantly active, evolving and improving; it has benefited from tens of thousands of contributions from talented developers around the world over many years, resulting in a product which is superior to anything a small team of developers could ever hope to produce independently.
In utilising (and contributing to) open source software we feel that Setsquare is able to compete at the highest possible level and offer our customers something of incredible value.