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.

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  • Open Data Business Models - OSCON 2011

    1. Open Data BusinessModels for Hackers Luke Closs - OSCON 2011 @lukec
    2. Lets unpack that title!• Open Data • World Readable (& re-usable!) • Open formats • Open licences • Trendy!
    3. Lets unpack that title!• Business Models • Designs • Making projects financially sustainable • (or thrive-able!)
    4. Lets unpack that title!• Hackers • Awesome citizens who make stuff! • This talk is not for MBAs.
    5. This talk …• … is to help hackers• … think about business models• … suitable for open data projects
    6. But first, a story!
    7. VanTrashSaving Marriages one garbage day at a time.
    8. The story of VanTrash
    9. June 11, 2009Open Web Vancouver
    10. I Met David Eaves
    11. I Met David Eaves• twitter.com/daeaves
    12. I Met David Eaves• twitter.com/daeaves• Open data advocate
    13. I Met David Eaves• twitter.com/daeaves• Open data advocate
    14. Talking about: O3
    15. June 29, 2009 Blog Post
    16. “How Open Data even makes Garbagecollection sexier, easier and cheaper”
    17. 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
    18. Time Passes
    19. Community collaboration event (AKA a code sprint) (AKA a hackathon) (AKA drink beer and make cool things)
    20. Super HappyHacker House (#2)
    21. Kevin Jones
    22. Kevin Jones• @kevinj
    23. Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend
    24. Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend• not in a boy band
    25. Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend• not in a boy band
    26. Kevin Jones• @kevinj• co-worker, friend• not in a boy band
    27. “Hey Kevin, this can’t be that hard ...”
    28. ... hack hack hack ...
    29. 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(-)
    30. VanTrash API• Leave the data better than you found it• HTTP (REST) interface• Provide garbage API for other projects
    31. 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
    32. 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
    33. 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
    34. 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
    35. 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!
    36. But …
    37. How could we bring this to moar ppl?
    38. Ideas to make it better• MOAR cities• MOAR notifications (Text / Voice call)• MOAR value to municipalities
    39. Paradox
    40. Cities will only embraceour tool if they pay us to do so.
    41. If we’re providing value to citizens …
    42. Maybe we can start a (micro) business?
    43. BM Gen• Patterns & framework to understand & design business models• “A startup is a company in search of a business model.”
    44. The Canvas• A visual framework for exploring aspects of a business model
    45. Cost Value
    46. Walkthru
    47. Text• Citizens? - Parents? - Drinkers?• Governments?• Businesses?
    48. • Make life easier?• Do things cheaper?• Make better decisions?
    49. • Social Media (Tweeter, FB, …)• Municipal / Gov’t conferences• Business conferences
    50. • Self service - web / wiki / forum / email
    51. • App store sales?• Subscriptions for services?• Municipal contracts?
    52. • Hackers• Servers• Coffee?
    53. • Feature development / maintenance• Support• Sales / Marketing / Communications
    54. • ISP / Hosting?• Open Data advocates?• Municipalities?
    55. • Hosting?• Financial infrastructure (accepting moneys)• Your time?
    56. The Book• Business Model Generation• (It’s visually beautiful)• Techniques for brainstorming, analyzing, testing business models.• Buy it!• businessmodelgeneration.com
    57. What business modelswould work for VanTrash?
    58. My BM Gen Process• Brainstorm every possible detail/idea• Stare at it• Split into distinct business models• Compare / Contrast• Try, blend, iterate!
    59. VanTrash Models• We came up with these options: • Sustained by citizens • Sustained by municipalities • Infrastructure as a Service • Public Open Source Service
    60. Sustained by Citizens• Provide basic service for free, charge for enhanced services (SMS / Voice)• Citizen not willing to pay too much• “Freemium”
    61. 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
    62. 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
    63. Characteristics• Sell to Municipal decision makers• Looong (long) sales process• Administration features needed• City handles marketing to citizens• Too cheap for cities to buy
    64. 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
    65. 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?
    66. 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• $$ / run rate = months of service
    67. Characteristics• Content to be small• No $$ motive to expand, enhance• Good model for established infrastructure that can be run cheaply & is hard to accept money for
    68. Introducing Recollect.net
    69. 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 $$$
    70. Initially …• Fuck the gov’t, they’re too slow!• Citizens can sustain us!
    71. Weeks go by …… maybe not
    72. Later …• We gotta get municipalities onside • Make it “no-brainer cheap” • They advertise it to their citizens• Some citizens pay for extra services
    73. Finding Balance• Knowing the models we can evaluate the tradeoffs• Listen to your customers• Try things, don’t be in a rush • Need to be lean to not be rushed
    74. Other Open Data Companies
    75. SeeClickFix• Bugzilla for Cities• “Sustained by Municipalities”• Charge cities for admin features, branding, customization• Around $100 / 100K citizens / month
    76. Morningstar• Started out scraping printed SEC reports• Figured out how to use that public resource better than anyone else• Started rating Mutual funds for 401ks• Now they are a huge company
    77. How to do it.
    78. How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data
    79. How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient
    80. How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value
    81. How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value • … Value to citizens
    82. How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value • … Value to citizens • … Value to governments
    83. How to do it.• Hack cool things with open data• Let people use them, be patient• See what has value • … Value to citizens • … Value to governments • … Value to organizations
    84. Business Sustainability• Is there relevant data?• Is there demand?• Can you generate $$?
    85. Lessons Learned
    86. Lessons Learned• Municipalities are slow
    87. Lessons Learned• Municipalities are slow• Municipalities don’t want to be first
    88. Lessons Learned• Municipalities are slow• Municipalities don’t want to be first• It’s not cheap to accept money on the internets.
    89. 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.
    90. 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!
    91. … In Conclusion
    92. … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value
    93. … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value • Given your skills, time, capabilities
    94. … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value • Given your skills, time, capabilities• Narrow down to specific experiments
    95. … In Conclusion• Brainstorm about how to charge for that value • Given your skills, time, capabilities• Narrow down to specific experiments• Try them out.
    96. Thank You!• Contact me - lets talk about open data ideas! • Twitter - @lukec • luke@recollect.net• http://www.BusinessModelGeneration.com/

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