Open Data Business Models - OSCON 2011
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Open Data Business Models - OSCON 2011

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This presentation is to help hackers think about business models suitable for open data projects.

This presentation is to help hackers think about business models suitable for open data projects.

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Open Data Business Models - OSCON 2011 Open Data Business Models - OSCON 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Open Data BusinessModels for Hackers Luke Closs - OSCON 2011 @lukec
  • Lets unpack that title!• Open Data • World Readable (& re-usable!) • Open formats • Open licences • Trendy!
  • Lets unpack that title!• Business Models • Designs • Making projects financially sustainable • (or thrive-able!)
  • Lets unpack that title!• Hackers • Awesome citizens who make stuff! • This talk is not for MBAs.
  • This talk …• … is to help hackers• … think about business models• … suitable for open data projects
  • But first, a story!
  • VanTrashSaving Marriages one garbage day at a time.
  • The story of VanTrash
  • June 11, 2009Open Web Vancouver
  • I Met David Eaves
  • I Met David Eaves• twitter.com/daeaves
  • I Met David Eaves• twitter.com/daeaves• Open data advocate
  • I Met David Eaves• twitter.com/daeaves• Open data advocate
  • Talking about: O3
  • June 29, 2009 Blog Post
  • “How Open Data even makes Garbagecollection sexier, easier and cheaper”
  • A side-note:• Vancouver has confusing garbage schedules• Everyone’s day moves forward every holiday• Canada has lots of holidays• Every other week is green bins
  • Time Passes
  • Community collaboration event (AKA a code sprint) (AKA a hackathon) (AKA drink beer and make cool things)
  • Super HappyHacker House (#2)
  • Kevin Jones
  • Kevin Jones• @kevinj
  • Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend
  • Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend• not in a boy band
  • Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend• not in a boy band
  • Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend• not in a boy band
  • “Hey Kevin, this can’t be that hard ...”
  • ... hack hack hack ...
  • Fast forward a few months Make it work in Internet Explorer (ugh) ...Add logging, backups, metrics, feedback, error reporting, email system, administration features ... 347 commits later 142 files changed, 19624 insertions(+), 644 deletions(-)
  • VanTrash API• Leave the data better than you found it• HTTP (REST) interface• Provide garbage API for other projects
  • VanTrash SMS (Text Messages)• Wanted to add SMS notifications• BUT • We do not wish to support incumbent mobility companies in any way.• Decision: Focus on Twitter instead
  • Technologies• Perl - all server-side development is in Perl • CPAN++ (Geo, ICal, Polygons, Scraping)• Javascript - frontend is all in the browser • Uses REST/HTTP to talk to the server• Android - mobile platform of choice
  • Licensing• Server-side code is completely open • Perl Artistic License or GPLv2• Javascript and Images are Copyright• We could prevent garbageday.ca from taking our work w/o permission• OK initial balance, would change long term
  • Motivations• Be a good citizen, leadership by example• Show Gov’t, Business what nice, simple APIs look like• Help our neighbors• Learn, take a project start-to-finish• Have fun
  • Epilogue• Vantrash ran for ~20 months with no problems. Ideal!• Thousands of users, word of mouth marketing only.• Receive LOTS of praise from friends, family & strangers• It’s genuinely useful!
  • But …
  • How could we bring this to moar ppl?
  • Ideas to make it better• MOAR cities• MOAR notifications (Text / Voice call)• MOAR value to municipalities
  • Paradox
  • Cities will only embraceour tool if they pay us to do so.
  • If we’re providing value to citizens …
  • Maybe we can start a (micro) business?
  • BM Gen• Patterns & framework to understand & design business models• “A startup is a company in search of a business model.”
  • The Canvas• A visual framework for exploring aspects of a business model
  • Cost Value
  • Walkthru
  • Text• Citizens? - Parents? - Drinkers?• Governments?• Businesses?
  • • Make life easier?• Do things cheaper?• Make better decisions?
  • • Social Media (Tweeter, FB, …)• Municipal / Gov’t conferences• Business conferences
  • • Self service - web / wiki / forum / email
  • • App store sales?• Subscriptions for services?• Municipal contracts?
  • • Hackers• Servers• Coffee?
  • • Feature development / maintenance• Support• Sales / Marketing / Communications
  • • ISP / Hosting?• Open Data advocates?• Municipalities?
  • • Hosting?• Financial infrastructure (accepting moneys)• Your time?
  • The Book• Business Model Generation• (It’s visually beautiful)• Techniques for brainstorming, analyzing, testing business models.• Buy it!• businessmodelgeneration.com
  • What business modelswould work for VanTrash?
  • My BM Gen Process• Brainstorm every possible detail/idea• Stare at it• Split into distinct business models• Compare / Contrast• Try, blend, iterate!
  • VanTrash Models• We came up with these options: • Sustained by citizens • Sustained by municipalities • Infrastructure as a Service • Public Open Source Service
  • Sustained by Citizens• Provide basic service for free, charge for enhanced services (SMS / Voice)• Citizen not willing to pay too much• “Freemium”
  • Characteristics• Requires marketing, but no sales team• Requires many paying citizens• Hard to market to target customers • Non-techie citizens• Easy to execute, few barriers
  • Sustained by Municipalities• Provide services to citizens for free, city pays for infrastructure costs• Not incompatible with “Freemium”• Value is more towards reducing costs• Municipal ads & admin features
  • Characteristics• Sell to Municipal decision makers• Looong (long) sales process• Administration features needed• City handles marketing to citizens• Too cheap for cities to buy
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)• Offer tools to run VanTrash as a service to others• Let hackers in other cities easily create their own• Common infrastructure saves time
  • Characteristics• Very little marketing / sales needed• Hackers localize the service for their area, market it to their citizens• Money from any party that wants to set it up• Too niche?
  • Public Open Source Service (POSS)• Idea: poss.gliderlab.com @progrium• No profit incentive• Citizens collectively pitch in to cover costs as needed• Donations => Account => Hosting fees• $$ / run rate = months of service
  • Characteristics• Content to be small• No $$ motive to expand, enhance• Good model for established infrastructure that can be run cheaply & is hard to accept money for
  • Introducing Recollect.net
  • Recollect’s B-Model• Free for web/email/twitter/ical• Citizens pay for SMS & Voice reminders• Municipalities pay for ad space, administration, extra features• Custom features for $$$
  • Initially …• Fuck the gov’t, they’re too slow!• Citizens can sustain us!
  • Weeks go by …… maybe not
  • Later …• We gotta get municipalities onside • Make it “no-brainer cheap” • They advertise it to their citizens• Some citizens pay for extra services
  • Finding Balance• Knowing the models we can evaluate the tradeoffs• Listen to your customers• Try things, don’t be in a rush • Need to be lean to not be rushed
  • Other Open Data Companies
  • SeeClickFix• Bugzilla for Cities• “Sustained by Municipalities”• Charge cities for admin features, branding, customization• Around $100 / 100K citizens / month
  • Morningstar• Started out scraping printed SEC reports• Figured out how to use that public resource better than anyone else• Started rating Mutual funds for 401ks• Now they are a huge company
  • How to do it.
  • How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data
  • How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient
  • How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value
  • How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value • … Value to citizens
  • How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value • … Value to citizens • … Value to governments
  • How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value • … Value to citizens • … Value to governments • … Value to organizations
  • Business Sustainability• Is there relevant data?• Is there demand?• Can you generate $$?
  • Lessons Learned
  • Lessons Learned• Municipalities are slow
  • Lessons Learned• Municipalities are slow• Municipalities don’t want to be first
  • Lessons Learned• Municipalities are slow• Municipalities don’t want to be first• It’s not cheap to accept money on the internets.
  • Lessons Learned• Municipalities are slow• Municipalities don’t want to be first• It’s not cheap to accept money on the internets.• When you don’t have VC, you can run on your own (slow) schedule.
  • Breaking Dependencies• Turned off vantrash.ca, redirects to Recollect• Got email yesterday from City 311 staff! ZOMG!• But we use your site! • OK, we can help you! ($$)• Unintentional catalyst!
  • … In Conclusion
  • … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value
  • … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value • Given your skills, time, capabilities
  • … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value • Given your skills, time, capabilities• Narrow down to specific experiments
  • … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value • Given your skills, time, capabilities• Narrow down to specific experiments• Try them out.
  • Thank You!• Contact me - lets talk about open data ideas! • Twitter - @lukec • luke@recollect.net• http://www.BusinessModelGeneration.com/