XWiki : Vision Open Source

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XWiki

Tech companies, the buyout

When you participate in the creation of a tech company, particularly on the product side, there are plenty of reasons why your work might get lost. The company might fail, the product might not work and the company may survive with other products, a particular part of the product might be dropped. These are actually pretty good reasons why your work might go down the drain.

Now the good thing with open source is that it can never go fully and completely down the drain. Even if your company is closed down, the code is still released as Open Source and available. You can decide to reuse it.

This is not the case with non open source code and there is an even worst reason for your code to go down the drain: when it disappears after the buyout of your company.

XWiki

Choosing a business model and sticking to it until further notice

Whenever you talk about a company, you often begin by discussing its "business model", rapidly dismissing the product itself. This is particularly true when the product is initially free, when you find the idea a little weak or the market is already crowded. The question the founder is faced with is "how do you plan to make money ?".

For XWiki, there was the obvious precedent of existing Open Source companies which seemed to make things simpler, but that wasn't enough. When I created XWiki, there were quite a lot of choices to pick from:

  • consumer oriented wikis on the cloud
  • a software as a service offering
  • making the solution proprietary
  • an open source business model based on services
  • an open source business model with dual licences
  • an open source business model a la "redhat"
  • an open core business model
  • any combination of the above