Adventures with Open Source Business Models
03-05, 11:00–11:30 (Europe/Berlin), Stage Wintergarten

I spent 20 years on an adventure running an open source business. This session will cover open source business models and especially the ones that work. If you have ever thought about doing FOSS as a full time business, come hear what I've learned.

I became involved in open source full time in 2001 when I joined the company behind OpenNMS, an open source network monitoring platform. In 2002 I became the primary maintainer when that company decided to stop supporting the project. Becoming the maintainer was easier than explaining to my wife that I was quitting my job to sell free software.

I was able to grow the company up until 2019 when we sold it, and I stayed with the acquiring company until 2021. Our customers were some of the biggest companies in the world, and we explored every possible way to make money while keeping the product 100% free and open source software.

In this session I will talk about how we got started, what worked and what didn't, and what I would do differently if I had to do it all again.

See also: FOSS Backstage Presentation (88.7 KB)

Tarus Balog 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. After working as a network management consultant for many years, he got involved in open source software through the OpenNMS Project starting in 2001 and became the maintainer of the project in 2002. He built a company around that project that counted some of the world's largest companies as customers, and the company was sold in 2019. Since 2022 he has been an advocate for open source at Amazon Web Services as a Principal Open Source Strategist.