For reasons that I will blog about in a couple of weeks, several people last week asked me what I think about open core. My answer was that nowadays I don't care much about the topic. Long time readers of this blog might be surprised at such an answer, so I thought this was a good time to reflect on why I don't think it is very important anymore, and more importantly to document the empirical evindence that we now have about open core as a business strategy.
Here are the slides of the talk I just gave at Froscon. (Video should be available soon.)
I found a very interesting blog post today: Open Source IaaS Community Analysis. It is a statistical analysis into forum/mailing-list traffic of the 4 major private cloud open source projects: OpenStack, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and Cloudstack. While I have never met or read anything from the author, qyjohn, it seems we actually worked at Sun at the same time :-)
For a casual follower - like me - of these four cloud projects, the post is interesting in many ways. But for anyone interested in open source business models it is very interesting indeed. Readers of this blog will remember my research from 2010: How to grow your open source project 10x and revenues 5x. The research showed that 9 out of 9 Xtra Large projects are all governed through foundations, whereas the best performing open source codebases owned by a single vendor have developer communities that are roughly 10x smaller. Based on this observation I made this recommendation:
In July I attended the Community Leadership Summit in Portland. This was the 3rd CLS overall and my second. The first one was organized in San Jose 2 years ago. I noticed there has been a small evolution between those two years (which might partly be due to geography too). The first one in San Jose I think was very successful and drew many de-facto leaders in the open source community, including Bruce Perens himself (author of the Open Source Definition). In Portland there was perhaps less of those, but instead you could see how the audience increasingly consisted of people who actually work as full time Community Managers for various businesses, or in some cases for a non-profit organization.
Slides from my talk at OSCON 2011 are now up on Slideshare:
2 weeks from now I'm giving a talk How to Grow Your Open Source Project 10x and Revenues 5x at OSCON (in Portland, Oregon). It is based on the article with the same title I published last year. The talk is scheduled to end a one day sub-track called IT Leaders Summit. I'm glad it is categorized as a business talk rather than community talk - things I write usually are problematic in that I typically cover both business and community and see them mostly as harmonious topics, whereas most other people see them as opposites.
There was a guy on TV (and unfortunately I've forgotten his name) who does crisis management and peace negotiations. You know, mediating when two countries or tribes have been at war. At the opening of peace negotiations he would usually tell the following story: