Everything open source
May 16–17, 2016: Training & Tutorials
May 18–19, 2016: Conference
Austin, TX

Community and commercialization: How to build an open source company in 2016

Will Hayes (Lucidworks)
11:55am–12:35pm Wednesday, 05/18/2016
Location: Meeting Room 16A
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 2 ratings)

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? Will Hayes, CEO of Lucidworks, the company built on and around Apache Lucene and Solr, explains why business success need not come at the expense of the open source community’s integrity.

Using Lucidworks as a case study, Will discusses 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. Will also outlines a 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.

This session is sponsored by Lucidworks.

Photo of Will Hayes

Will Hayes


Will Hayes is CEO of Lucidworks, a San Francisco-based enterprise search company backed by the world’s strongest and most active open source search community, Apache Solr. Lucidworks provides the search platform for global brands, delivering the enterprise-grade capabilities needed to design, develop, and deploy intelligent search apps at any scale. Companies across industries—from consumer retail and healthcare to insurance and financial services—rely on Lucidworks every day to power their consumer-facing and enterprise search apps. Previously, Will held product and business development positions at big data analysis company Splunk and biotech firm Genentech.