Building and Selling a Company Using Open Source

Lucas Carlson (AppFog)
Sponsored Sessions
Location: E143
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 2 ratings)

In this talk, we will cover the history of the AppFog PaaS (started as PHP Fog in August 2010 with a landing page and a link on Hacker News- through the recent acquisition.

We will talk about what the early days of starting a company were like, from writing code for PHP hosting in Ruby, to hiring the initial team and raising $10M from venture capitalists. From building an entire PaaS stack and then re-building it with the Open Source Cloud Foundry PaaS stack. We even acquired a leading Open Source Node PaaS called Nodester.

We will discuss how and why we grew and expanded beyond PHP support to include Node, Ruby, Java, Python and more, how and why we partnered with Microsoft, HP, VMware, Rackspace, CenturyLink and others.

We will discuss how we built a business model around PaaS and how we sold to developers and figured out how to translate that to selling to businesses. What went right and what went wrong.

Finally we will discuss what life is like post-acquisition and what Open Source technologies CenturyLink is interested in fostering now and in the future.

This talk is for anyone interested in entrepreneurship, any hackers or painters, and anyone interested in the future of the tech space.

This session is sponsored by Savvis

Lucas Carlson


Lucas Carlson founded AppFog, a PaaS company that leveraged Cloud Foundry and was acquired by CenturyLink. Lucas has been a professional developer for over 10 years and specializes in Ruby on Rails development. Lucas has authored “Programming for PaaS” and the “Ruby Cookbook” and has written half a dozen libraries in various programming languages and contributed to many others, including Rails and RedCloth. He maintains a personal website at


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