A month ago I did an exciting journey to Portland, to present two talks in the field of Open Source business strategy. One at OSCON, and the other was a keynote session at the Community Leadership Summit.
O'Reilly does an awesome job recording all the talks in Oscon, and they let the speakers download and share a copy of their own talk. Thank you O'Reilly! The CLS talk was also recorded, but I haven't seen it published yet. The Kaltura guys do all of the filming and post production on the side of their day jobs, which is a respectable amount of work to do for the community. I'll update this post when the video does become available.
Last Friday noonish, I was back at PDX. I had decided to invest in the Thursday night parties - to strengthen those bonds of friendship that are the backbone of the open source community - then sleep, pack and take the light rail to the airport in the morning, skipping the remaining Friday morning conference sessions. I had already been at the convention center 6 days in a row, figured it would be enough for now.
Vacation is almost over - and it's still 17 degrees outside :-( It's time to start packing for Portland.
I'm as excited as ever, since this year I'm delivering 2 talks. Both fall into the category which is a long time passion of mine - open source community and business. It's refreshing to not have to talk about databases for once :-)
The Community Leadership Summit is mostly an unconference, but in recent years have started adding short 15 minute pre-arranged talks. (Kind of like morning keynotes, even if they don't call them that.) On Sunday the 19th, I will be do a talk called Open Source Governance Models Revisited.
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.