Community & Commercialization: How to Build an Open Source Company in 2016

06/06/2016 - 12:20 to 13:00
Frannz Salon
long talk (40 min)

Session abstract: 

Many companies tout themselves as “open source,” offering support for popular tools and technologies. But professional services alone don’t typically produce the kind of revenue required for long term business success. So what does it take to build a profitable and healthy open source company? In this session, Will Hayes, CEO of Lucidworks — the company built on and around Apache Lucene and Solr — will share how business success need not come at the expense of the open source community’s integrity. Using Lucidworks as a case study Hayes will explain the power of specificity in driving both revenue and committer happiness, exploring why open source companies should avoid commercializing product features with broad, cross-industry appeal, such as security, management and monitoring. These are fundamental features and monetizing them will harm the integrity of the open source community.

Hayes will also explore the strategy of going to market with product features that serve a specific industry or use case — for example, with an enterprise search product, ongoing fraud detection for financial services customers — as this will produce business value and prevent community tension.