Kitware’s Commitment to Open Source Values

September 21, 2011

As many of you know, Kitware is one of the few international, thriving software companies who have made a commitment to open source practices, both in our approach to technology as well as in our business model. We have received recognition from Inc. magazine as being one the fastest growing companies four years in a row. We have sustained an average growth rate of 50% from 2008-2010. We have now broken the 100 employee barrier and are approaching $25 million in revenue. We are making significant impacts on scientific computing and software process. And all of this despite our early concerns about the viability of our approach, which thankfully seem to be unfounded as we are thriving beyond what any of us expected.

And so, after more than 13 years in business, it recently dawned on us that maybe we are doing something right, and others might be interested in how we’ve done it. To that end, we’ve been working on a succinct, single page position statement describing Kitware’s Open Source Mission Statement.

While the mission statement says it very well, there are a couple of points worth reiterating. We are a service company at heart, so we enjoy collaborating with our customers and communities. We are flexible, therefore we enjoy working with our partners to integrate technology into their workflow, providing both open and proprietary solutions. Finally, we use permissive, simple open-source licenses; we believe that the best way to advance the Way of the Source is to make it ubiquitous and easy to use. We want to get to the point where using and creating open source software is as natural as breathing, and closed solutions seem slow, clumsy and antiquated in comparison. Then we’ll know for sure we’re doing something right.


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