When building an open source product, a company’s developers are usually thrilled to create a useful, beautiful code base and share it with the world, while the sales team fears that giving away the core product for free hampers their ability to make quota. Top it all off with executives who need to make payroll, investors who expect significant return on investment, and users who don’t always understand the fine line between community education and free support and a seemingly natural tension arises between project and product.
Undercut the needs of your user community in favor of driving sales, and your company will face a decrease in adoption and unfavorable brand awareness. Too little focus on the bottom line will mean your company fails. So how can this tension be balanced effectively, especially in a world where developers are the "new kingmakers” and meeting their sensibilities is a cornerstone of driving corporate purchasing decisions?
Amye Scravada explores the process of creating an authentic, sustainable community around an open source product line. Drawing on her experience at open source companies, Amye outlines the ways that businesses can create developer values-centric communities that still meet the needs of all business stakeholders, including your company’s open source-loving engineers. You’ll leave with immediately actionable strategies for keeping your developers motivated, your community members engaged, and your profit and loss statements favorable.
Amye Scavarda is the Gluster community lead at Red Hat, where she helps feed and water a large open source storage project and connect communities and developers.
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