The FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) is the buzz word for last two decades but is FOSS actually fulfill the business requirements in real world. According to me the answer is no. Most of the time FOSS addressed the generic user requirement such as free web browser (Ex. Chrome, Firefox and etc.), web servers, computer languages, open office packages, and operating systems. What it failed to provide was custom (specific) business requirements. You can use FOSS upto some extends and need to hire a developer to adjust or customize the FOSS to meet your requirement. Think about WordPress a great open source CMS platform but in order to use it how many paid add-ons you need to buy (I know there are many free add-ons for WordPress too).
I have seen that always a business needs a FOSS + good developer to work with. But sometime this is okay for a well-established entity because they have sufficient funds for software. The problem is with the start-ups they do not have that kind of luxury with funding. They need solid software but no fund to invest on customization. Sometime customization on FOSS is very high and hard to find developer on that platform.
As we know the start-ups are the young blood for country’s economy, so our responsibility is to keep them healthy. My suggestion is instead of developing generic product for free, we can together develop a workspace there any business can request a customize software products for there needs for free. This quite the same as FOSS, together we can develop software not for generic but customized.
As an initiative Proactive Ants launched a Free Offshore Software Development Services. We are planing to develop a platform where any one can contribute this initiative and pass all the benefits for all our start-ups in near future.