Every year, from 2010 onward, Redmonk publishes a bi-annual comparison of the popularity of programming languages relative to one another using data from GitHub and Stack Overflow. One list is compiled for the summer and another one for the spring. Among top 15 programming languages in the spring 2016 list, only one exclusively scientific and statistical programming language is featured. It is: R.
Within a six month period: between January of 2016 and June of 2016, R climbed from its original 13th place to the current 12th place. The only other popular scientific and statistical programming language ranked higher than R is Python. But, mind you, Python is a general purpose programming language, with broader programming applications than the R’s primary focus of scientific and statistical computations.
I see this list as a bellwether or a canary in the coal mine or a harbinger. The message is clear. Since R and Python are opensource programming languages, any startup with a heavy focus on research and development should start investing in open platforms now. It will provide two benefits: 1) number of application developers, packages, platforms and programmers working with the language will be high; 2) the relative stability over time for the list of names featured in the top 15 programming languages indicate a very easy way to future proof the research and development side of the business.
Even if the underpinning technologies are opensource, there are mechanisms to protect and commercialize the intellectual property. If there is not much competition in the field of development, or if the resources and management strategy allows focusing more on: 1) cascading effect of lowered supply chain costs due to increased competition and 2) maintenance of developer momentum; then one can always choose to take the path of open sourcing every new research and development. A great example here is the electric car manufacturer Tesla.
In conclusion, open platforms are the next big bet for research and development focused startups like nanoveda. Our strategy for technology development is based on what the technology landscape will be for the medium term future of next 5 to 10 years. Cancer research is a very competitive field and monetization potential of startups in this field are measured using intellectual property. Once we reach a position of self sustaining business, nanoveda will opensource all our patents, similar to Elon Musk’s approach with Tesla.
Right now we need your support. We are running a crowdfunding campaign using gofundme‘s awesome platform. Donation or not, please share our crowdfunding campaign and support our cause.
Donate here: gofundme page for nanoveda.