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Founded in 1989, Cygnus Solutions was the first, and according to a survey by Forbes magazine in August 1998, is by far the largest Open Source business today. Cygnus has established its primary product, the GNUPro Developers Kit, as both the leading compiler product and the leading debugger product in the embedded software tools market. Cygnus customers include the world's top microprocessor companies as well as leading consumer-electronics, Internet, telecommunications, office automation, networking, aerospace, and automotive companies. With headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, and offices in Atlanta (GA), Boston (MA), Cambridge (UK), Tokyo (JP), Toronto (CN), and remote employees working from various locations ranging from Australia to Oregon, Cygnus is the largest privately held company in the embedded software industry, larger than two publicly-held companies and about to overtake the third largest. With a CAGR greater than 65% since 1992, Cygnus has been on the San Jose Business Journal's Top 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies three years in a row, and now ranks on the Software 500 list (based on revenue of all software businesses in the world).
In this essay, I will describe the Open Source model that provided the blueprint for our success, and how we are revising and enhancing it for our future endeavors.