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FOSS Enterpreneurship

FOSS Enterpreneurship



My presentation about starting a startup in the software freedom day 2012 in Factuly of Engineering, Alexandria, Egypt.

My presentation about starting a startup in the software freedom day 2012 in Factuly of Engineering, Alexandria, Egypt.



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FOSS Enterpreneurship FOSS Enterpreneurship Presentation Transcript

  • FOSS Entrepreneurship and Business By: Ahmed Mekkawy AKA linuxawy Founder | CTO – Spirula Systems ahmed.mekkawy@spirulasystems.com
  • FOSS● Free Open Source Software● Free Software is a philosophical idea, a social movement, based on consumers rights● Open Source software is a practical development methodology, looking from the developers perspective● Philosophy vs. Practicality? why not both?
  • Entrepreneurship● Whos an entrepreneur?● Let me tell you a secret, Im considered an entrepreneur and Im not sure what it is, I even miss-spell it all the time.● Entrepreneur creates a startup company, so what is a startup company?
  • Startup Company● Great idea ( or so it seems ).● Low fund.● Small team with high ownership.● Unstable, quick changes.● Having fun.● Non-experienced team, lots of mistakes.● High learning curve.
  • Who Can Do That?● Creative and smart.● Able to realize his idea.● Workaholic? not a must, but a hard worker.● Hunger to success.● Positive and optimistic.● Accepts challenges, and accepts failures as well.
  • Company Output● Products.● Services.● (Infrastructure|platform|software) as a service.
  • How To Get Funded?● First, when will you need to get funded?● Stages of funding: 3F, seed, angel, VC.● Exit strategies: IPO, sell to a big fish, no exit.● What to prepare to get funded ● Idea, idea, idea ● Core team ● Business Plan ● Lots of caffeine ● Everything that could cheer you up
  • Bad Practice - Business● It seems great, people will like it. But Im not sure how to make money from it – twitter style● It exists all around, and generates profit, so Im guaranteed to win – supermarket style● Its already made 100 times, thats why its not gonna fail this time – el kabda el dameya style● I dont have an idea, but Im passionate about having my own startup, so Ill search for anything that seems promising – no style
  • Unethical Behavior - FOSS● Capitalize the community efforts with some marketing strategies, than Im gonna donate 0.0001% of my profit to them – ***** style● Gonna claim that Im supporting FOSS only by letting it run on my platform – ********* style● Gonna be a FOSS black hole, only taking community efforts, giving almost nothing back, or giving very tiny stuff – ****** style
  • So What Should I Do?● Think of a win-win situation, in both aspects: FOSS and business.● FOSS created a funny community, producers are consumers and consumers are producers. Your startup is a consumer (using FOSS), dont forget to be a FOSS producer.● Direct your passion to success not money, and direct your success to be useful, not to take more.
  • Bottom LineBalance between paying back yourdebt to the community, serving yourcustomers, and benefiting theshareholders is the key – dont lost it
  • Spirula as an Example● Founded February 2010● A long shot, at a tight timing● Self fund, very tight bootstrapping● Started with one employee: me● Started in a single room, stayed there for more than than 18 months
  • Spirula Success● ROI after 12 months.● Handled massive projects, like referendum and elections, akhbarak & al-akhbar, taghyeer.net & elbaradei2011, meedan, alsaha, eglug, nezal, and supermama.● Very good reputation.● Employees number doubled 7 times.● Our own office now :)
  • How?● Rare service in the area.● Addressing existing need.● Solid technical background.● Community activities.● No tolerance towards ethics.● Focusing on success more than profit: Dont look under your shows (unless you have to).● Patience: Dont Panic.
  • About● Following the professional open source business model, and embracing free software values, Spirula aims to support the small to medium business to switch its IT infrastructure - or part of it - to the use of open source software.● Supporting the local free/open source software communities is a commitment that we have taken upon ourselves, as without such communities all the software we use would not exist.
  • Vision & Mission● Vision: To support and encourage business decision makers in adopting Free/Open Source Software, by offering high quality, reliable, and affordable services.● Mission: To give systems and infrastructure services to small to medium businesses, while targeting the local market , the MENA region, and the whole world.● Slogan: Openly managing and securing your digital world.
  • Questions?ahmed.mekkawy@spirulasystems.com