A couple readers both reacted my previous blog with more or less the same words: This is great, but what about the level of mission criticality of the use case? Surely you should count that as a third variable since it impacts the likelihood of a user becoming a paying customer?
So, yesterday I wrote about what the sales funnel looks like when selling open source software, compared to what it used to look like when we sold closed source software. In this post I will build on that theory with some practical conclusions. (I assume you've read the first post.)
Why modeling your business matters
When running a business we need to do budgeting and other planning related activities. If you don't, you'll probably run out of money at some point. Also the point of planning is to capture as much of the business potential out there as possible. For example, to sell 5MEUR next year, do we need 5 sales managers or 6? (...and, can we afford 6?)
Since I joined MongoDB it seems I have mostly been doing technical blogs. Yesterday I had a conversation with a long time friend from the open source database scene, which inspired me to jot down some observations on my long time favorite topic: open source business strategy.
In fact, this will be very much a Selling Open Source 101 blog. I've come to realize that while what I'm about to write is well known to open source oldtimers, those of us who were lucky to work at Red Hat and MySQL and other first generation open source companies, these ideas are not necessarily well known to many executives and sales managers working in open source today.
5 years of MySQL
People often write a blog post when they reach some nice anniversary since they joined MySQL community. Well, for those old enough it usually means when they joined MySQL AB as employee. For me this was January 2008. Because I didn't remember the month correctly, I haven't blogged anything then, but decided to save it for a better opportunity - now.
TL;DR Starting this week I will be working for 10gen, selling MongoDB to the Nordics. This blog post is really long - even then it doesn't contain the most interesting stories, I'm not sure if they can ever be published. Sorry for the length, but remember you don't need to read all at once. This is my last MySQL post so save some of it for cold winter days!
2008 - Sun acquisition
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.
The Winter season for conferences is catching up speed.
As I write this the DOAG conference in Germany is happening. It is one of the biggest (or the biggest?) Oracle user group conferences outside of USA. Many of my European friends in the MySQL space are talking there. As you know I have been a big fan of Galera Cluster for MySQL for over a year now, but I was perhaps a bit of an early adopter. Lo-and-behold, I was surprised to see the DOAG related press-release from SkySQL puts the creators of Galera first in their headline: Codership, SkySQL und weitere Top-Experten rund um das Thema ‘MySQL Datenbanken” in Nürnberg versammelt. Talk about crossing the chasm! Ralf Gebhardt, my other mentor from MySQL AB times, is speaking on MySQL HA solutions. Seppo, Erkan and Oli and people from Oracle are talking too.
Percona Live UK, Dec 2-3
Here are the slides of the talk I just gave at Froscon. (Video should be available soon.)
A year ago I posted a blog on The state of MySQL forks: co-operating without co-operating. (Also Giuseppe wrote about the topic at that time, and Peter Zaitsev covers it in his conference keynotes.) So I've been wondering if it would be good to write an update on the topic now, and in that case what to write.