We only have one way to sell milk right now, and it ain’t scaling, but we have plans :)
On the panel, I’ll talk about the bootstrapping process we undertook when Open Atrium first launched last July. I’ll share how we communicated about the work we wanted to be doing in a way that let us book a set of clients that had similar needs, which allowed us to pool resources to build a good foundation for Open Atrium.
This was a great way to start this work, but now we’re facing the question “how the hell are we going to support this?” Last week Open Atrium passed 90,000 downloads. At this stage it’s no longer something that we can keep supporting only through high end customization work. This leaves us with the other two prominent open source business models — support and/or SaaS. For the first time publicly, I’ll share what we are planning and talk about the obstacles for us in making the transition to a new business model, from obtaining start up capital to fostering team growth and our culture.
The facilitator, Jeff Eaton, organized this talk to “educate others about OSS opportunities and pitfalls”, so the Open Atrium angle is only a small part of a much larger and diverse conversation. The panel also includes:
- Evan Prodromou, the founder Status.net, an open source microblogging service.
- Tiffany Farriss from Palantir.net, a digital design and web shop that does a lot of work with Drupal.
- Brad Fitzpatrick, who worked for LiveJournal and is now at Google working on standards like OpenID.
The panel is at 3:30 pm in the Hilton A/B room.
Sidenote: I have only been to Austin once before and it was a really quick stop, so I would love to get some good bbq while I’m here. If you have any recommendations, please hit me up on twitter @ericg.