Free Software & Sustainable business resources

This is a list topic to collect information about people earning a sustainable income based on Free Software. All kinds of informational resources can be posted below.

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Open Source Business Guidebook

Presenting at FOSDEM2023 the author Matt Yonkovit (on fedi) has a nice summary of things to pay attention to (see slides).

If you have a project or a business, how are you measuring growth, adoption, and success? Many companies need help understanding how open source community success translates into commercial success ( or a sustainable business ). The conversion from free open source users to paying customers is a challenging one, but there are some common techniques and practices successful companies deploy. For example: Optimizing your user journey is critical and can make or break your success. Did you know, for instance, some of the best companies can convert users browsing their documentation to those downloading their software at a 5:1 ratio, while others convert at a 500:1 ratio. How do you optimize your journey to enable people to not only easily download your software but use it? During this talk, I will outline the best practices, metrics, and processes you should follow when looking to build or grow your business.

See: Open Source Business Guidebook: Building a Scalable OSS Based Business (slides, PDF)

(I suggested the author to change some terminology to be more friendly, peopl-oriented)

A model for Sustainable FOSS Maintenance

This got a big discussion on Hacker News (127 comments) and the author Filippo Valsorda is on the fedi:

I’m not selling support hours or hard project deliverables. Instead, my clients get value in three ways:

  1. they mitigate the business risk of a project they depend on going unmaintained, with its security and development velocity implications;
  2. we establish a channel for reciprocal access, ensuring better outcomes for both them and the project; and
  3. at the highest contract tiers, I’m available for advice on any topic I am an expert in, beyond the strict scope of the open-source project.

Points 2) and 3) are innovative here. Read the full article:

See also: The Reciprocal Value of Access to Maintainers

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