Season 1

Here is a full archive of the webinars of season 1.

Episode 1: The Delicate Art of Open Source Product Management

Featured speakers: Adam Jacob, Scott McCarty

Description: In this discussion, we will explore the delicate art of building a product offering based on an open source project. Adam Jacob, former CTO and founder of Chef, and Scott McCarty, product manager for OpenShift in Red Hat, will lead a discussion on the trade-offs involved in community engagement and growth and building a product with a compelling value proposition for customers.

Episode 2: Open Source and Convenience in the Era of Software as a Service

Featured speaker: Stephen O’Grady

Description: Industry analyst Stephen O’Grady from Redmonk will lead a presentation and discussion on the way in which on-demand consumption of open source projects has changed the nature of how people adopt open source, and the consequences that has for companies building a business around products based on open source projects.

Episode 3: The Labor Economics of Open Source

Featured speakers: Dirk Riehle, Alyssa Wright

Description: Open source is changing how software is built and how money is made. Open source also defines a new developer career that is independent of the traditional career within companies. Researcher Dirk Riehle and Alyssa Wright of the Open Collective will lead a discussion about this new career, and will argue that it creates economic value for some while it makes life harder for others. Suggesting that such a career is worthwhile, the talk then discusses key skills that a developer should possess or train in order to be successful in open source projects. We will also discuss how creators of successful open source can develop a plan to earn a living while working on their project.

Episode 4: The Evolution of Open Source Non-Profits

Featured speakers: Karen Sandler, Myrle Krantz
Featured host: Stephen Walli

Description: Join Stephen Walli as he curates a discussion on the evolving role of the non-profits created around open source projects over the past 20 years. Our featured speakers are Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, and former Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, and Myrle Krantz, board member and treasurer of the Apache Software Foundation.

Episode 5: How Mozilla Changed the Internet

Featured speaker: John Lilly

Join Dave Neary in a discussion with former CEO of Mozilla Corporation, John Lilly, on how an open source project which became independent of AOL in 2003 managed to reintroduce competition into the browser market and modernize the Internet, while generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

Episode 6: Bootstrapping a Self-funded Open Source Company

Featured speakers: Alison Gianotto, Roberto Galoppini

One common path for open source businesses is to start with a small number of individual contributors, and self-fund the company. This week, Dave Neary will explore this theme with two people who have taken different paths to starting a business around an open source project, Alison Gianotto and Roberto Galoppini.

Alison Gianotto founded Grokability in 2015. The company is self-funded, and its main product is a SaaS solution based on the open source project Snipe-IT, developed by Alison.

After a career at, Roberto Galoppini started his own company to help popular open source projects including Filezilla to create a sustainable revenue model.

We will talk about the challenges of moving from an individual contributor to a CEO role, growing a company organically and reaching profitability as quickly as possible, and the revenue streams that are available to projects in different stages of their life, and in different market segments.

Episode 7: Consulting on Open Source Strategy

Featured speakers: Sumana Harihareswara, Aaron Williamson, James Vasile
Featured host: Leslie Hawthorn

Leslie Hawthorn is joined by experienced Open Source Consultants Aaron Williamson, James Vasile, and Sumana Harihareswara to discuss the intricacies of providing consulting services on open source. What types of companies are their clients? How do they identify potential projects, and in what ways can a consultant help improve the condition of their clients in open source? And in a world where so much information is out there for free, how do you ensure that you get paid?

Episode 8: The Reinvention of the Eclipse Foundation

Featured speaker: Mike Milinkovich
Featured host: Stephen Walli

The Eclipse Project was originally released in 2001, and led to the creation of the Eclipse Foundation in 2004. Over the course of its history, the Foundation has broadened its scope beyond the original Eclipse IDE to include a broad range of developer tools, working groups, and now hosts over 350 open source projects. It has also been successful in attracting a diverse set of member companies and individuals.

The Foundation leadership announced in May 2020 that it planned to become a Belgian non-profit, moving its home from the US to Europe. In this episode, the Eclipse Foundation Mike Milinkovich will join guest host Stephen Walli to discuss the historical and evolving role of the Eclipse Foundation, the motivations for moving to Europe now, and where he sees the Foundation going in the future.

Episode 9: Why I won’t start a company around Envoy

Featured speaker: Matt Klein
Featured host: Matt Asay

Many successful open source projects are created internally to solve problems for a large company. Of these successful projects, several project founders decide to start companies around the commercialization of the project. But there are also project founders who consciously decide not to go that route.

Matt Klein, a software engineer with Lyft, wrote Envoy to scratch a proverbial itch, to solve some of the problems of running scalable distributed applications. After the project was open sourced in 2016, it has had huge influence and traction, including being adopted by the service mesh platform Istio.

In this episode, Matt will chat with guest host Matt Asay about some of the reasons why he has chosen not to strike out on his own and attempt to create a service mesh business around his project.

Episode 10: Open Source Hardware

Featured speakers: Alicia Gibb, Limor Fried, Jason Kridner

This week, Dave Neary is joined by Limor Fried of Adafruit, Alicia Gibb of the Open Source Hardware Association, and Jason Kridner, co-founder of the project. We will discuss the role that open source software development has played in enabling an open hardware community to develop, and the role that open source software plays in the economics of open hardware companies.

This episode is our last episode of season 1! We will return with a second season in the Spring.

Future topics

We are still in the process of building a world-class schedule of events for the Open Source in Business series. Topics we plan to explore include:

Stay tuned for future additions to the series schedule! If you have ideas for topics for discussion, contact us with your suggestions!