So You Think You Want to Start an Open Source Business?


Abstract

This presentation uses the Hasbro's “Game of Life” as a metaphor for creating and running a business based on open source software.

It starts with how to decide what type of company to form (traditional or foundation), the importance of license choice as well as when to quit the day job.

The special needs and advantages of open source are discussed, from copyright issues to community management. Also, emphasis is placed on the fact that an open source business is still a business with issues such as accounting, taxes and other paper work.

It then moves into issues concerning products, customer management and employees. Finally, it ends with exit strategies, whether it involved investment, an acquisition or simply creating a business with a lot of longevity.

Speaker Bio  Tarus Balog, COO/Founder, OpenNMS Group

Tarus has been involved in managing communications networks professionally since 1988, and unprofessionally since 1978 when he got his first computer - a TRS-80 from Radio Shack. Having worked as a network management consultant for many years, he was constantly frustrated in the lack of flexibility involved in commercial solutions such as OpenView and Tivoli, as well as shocked by their high prices.  Looking for a better solution, he turned to open source and joined the OpenNMS project in 2001 and became the principal administrator of the project in 2002. Since then, he has managed not only to make a living working with free software, but the OpenNMS Group, the services company behind the project, has thrived, and currently has over 150 customers in 24 countries.

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