Hortonworks has been the largest contributor to the open-source Hadoop project, which offers a way out of the big data dilemma for many enterprises. its efficiency at processing heaps of data and scalability make it ideal for the purpose. As open-source software, Hadoop is both touted for its stability and capacity to improve over time.
However, as this article from InformationWeek notes, Hortonworks is trying to make money by making Hadoop more enterprise ready without incorporating its own proprietary technologies into it. This is risky, the author argues, becaue it allows competitors Cloudera and MapR to benefit from any innovations it may bring to the project.
On the other hand, Hortonworks argues that this transparency itself will help it prevail as a company. But as the author points out, it remains to be seen how the market will react in the future.