Building a Business on the Cheap

Business, Emerging Topics
Location: Ballroom A8
Average rating: ***..
(3.40, 5 ratings)

This talk will discuss lessons learned creating GitHub. We used open source software, open sourced many parts of the site, took no outside investment, and spent our weekends building the site until it was at the point where it could sustain itself.

Specifically, the talk will focus on open sourcing as much of your infrastructure as possible (especially non-conventional pieces), using as much open source as possible, contributing back to projects you use, building good will in the open source community, being smart about your budget, and some different approaches to finding the money required to bring an idea to life.

While this won’t be a GitHub advertisement, it will hopefully be an advertisement for bootstrapped companies. The goal is to share lessons learned (the hard way), answer questions, and hopefully inspire others to strike out on their own.

Photo of Chris Wanstrath

Chris Wanstrath


Chris Wanstrath is a co-founder of GitHub and an Isaac Asimov fan. He
lives in San Francisco, never has enough time to work on his own open
source projects, and tweets at

  • Intel
  • Microsoft
  • Google
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Facebook
  • Gear6
  • Kaltura
  • Liferay
  • MindTouch
  • Novell, Inc.
  • Open Invention Network
  • Rackspace Cloud
  • Schooner Information Technology
  • Silicon Mechanics
  • Symbian Foundation
  • Twilio
  • WSO2
  • Yabarana Corporation

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