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© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
What I’ve learned from 15+ years in open source
Ma...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
What open source does so well…
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
What open source promised to end…
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
What a difference 10 years makes
4
“There's been a...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
OPEN SOURCE HAS WON!(Open source businesses have n...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
It’s all your fault
6
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
The open source dilemma
7
Customer
profitability
C...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
That dilemma is now much, much worse
8
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
Monetizing free gets harder and harder
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
So what have companies done?
10
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
Option 1: Support disguised as “subscription”
11
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
Option 2: Proprietary software disguised as “open ...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
Open Core: Broken by design
13
“The open core deve...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
Option 3: Completely open, completely closed
14
“Y...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
Option 3.1: Communities of vendors
15
“[Foundation...
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
Option 4: Don’t sell open source
16
© 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential.
@mjasay
17
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OSCON 2016 - Lessons learned from 15+ years in open source - Matt Asay

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From the outside, open source companies try to appear to be Fine Upstanding Open Source Citizens™. On the inside of the sausage factory, however, hard decisions and trade-offs are constantly being made. After nearly 15 years of working for some of the industry’s best-known open source companies, including MongoDB and Canonical, Matt Asay decided to go to work for a company that uses and contributes to open source communities but doesn’t rely on them for revenue.

Matt describes the fundamental struggles every open source business has and explores how different companies have dealt with them (e.g., which features will be open vs. closed, which license to use, etc.). Matt also details why he decided to move on and why maybe you should consider doing so too.

Published in: Software
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OSCON 2016 - Lessons learned from 15+ years in open source - Matt Asay

  1. 1. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. What I’ve learned from 15+ years in open source Matt Asay
  2. 2. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. What open source does so well…
  3. 3. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. What open source promised to end…
  4. 4. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. What a difference 10 years makes 4 “There's been a stunning and irreversible trend in enterprise infrastructure….No dominant platform-level software infrastructure has emergedin the last ten years in closed-source, proprietary form.” - Mike Olson, Chief Strategy Officer, Cloudera
  5. 5. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. OPEN SOURCE HAS WON!(Open source businesses have not.) 5
  6. 6. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. It’s all your fault 6
  7. 7. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. The open source dilemma 7 Customer profitability Customer need for support subscription Year 1 Year 2-3 Year 4+ Startup raises $50M or bought for $100M+ Customer opts not to renew Startup is shuttered or sold for scrap
  8. 8. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. That dilemma is now much, much worse 8
  9. 9. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. Monetizing free gets harder and harder
  10. 10. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. So what have companies done? 10
  11. 11. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. Option 1: Support disguised as “subscription” 11
  12. 12. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. Option 2: Proprietary software disguised as “open source/core” 12
  13. 13. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. Open Core: Broken by design 13 “The open core development model…simply does not work. It is a narrowly-cast version of open source that only stands as a matter of corporate convenience for technology providers who continue to hold on to antiquated proprietary offerings, delivering minimal innovation.” - Ashesh Badani, VP & GM, Red Hat
  14. 14. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. Option 3: Completely open, completely closed 14 “You can no longer win with a closed-source platform, and you can't build a successful stand- alone company purely on open source…. Platform software has to be open source…. But pure-play open source companies never survive. That's a law of nature…. [So we offer] complementary tools and layered offerings that let customers run that pure open source platform better, more affordably, getting more value out of it.” - Mike Olson, Chief Strategy Officer, Cloudera
  15. 15. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. Option 3.1: Communities of vendors 15 “[Foundations] pay for all of the infrastructure to create these projects, to help govern these projects so that the intellectual property doesn’t fall into one particular for- profit entity or another but remains a neutral entity for decades to come.” - Jim Zemlin, Exec. Director, The Linux Foundation
  16. 16. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. Option 4: Don’t sell open source 16
  17. 17. © 2015Adobe SystemsIncorporated. AllRightsReserved. Adobe Confidential. @mjasay 17

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