What Happened at GitHub

Underlying the exodus of several GitHub executives over the past few months has been a key strategic debate: whether the company should focus on the needs of its millions of users or a small group of companies that write big checks, say several people with knowledge of GitHub’s inner workings.

It’s a debate with echoes in the struggles of companies like Dropbox, Evernote and Square to straddle both the consumer and enterprise worlds. In this case, after a three-year enterprise effort, GitHub’s leaders decided last fall to refocus on winning the “hearts and minds” of its individual users by revamping its core product, the people said.

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The turmoil has given the competition an opportunity to gain ground, at least in terms of selling private code-hosting software to enterprises. One rival is Bitbucket, for instance, owned by Atlassian, which is cheaper than GitHub and is increasing its market share. Another startup called GitLab has been downloaded nearly two million times. Neither competitor has anywhere near the popularity of the cloud version of GitHub, but they are making headway selling a private version to big businesses who want to run it in their own data centers, or “on-premises” in industry parlance.


Fazal Majid commented on this article.
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GitHub has long been the ultimate social network for coders, the place where about 10 million developers from around the world come together to collaborate on building software.