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The Business of Open Source Schedule

Monday January 19, 2009

Bob Gobeille - Introduction and Housekeeping
The FOSSology Project
Hewlett Packard Linux
Bob works in the Hewlett Packard Open Source Program Office and spends his time evangelizing about FOSSology and develolping its code. He welcomes you to this inaugural mini-conf.

David Rowe - Open Hardware business models
Free Telephony Project
In 2005 David started working on open hardware techniques for telephony. The idea of open hardware (people collaborating to build free hardware designs just like open software) was a big experiment, especially when it came to commercial products.

Much has happened since then. New projects, and even businesses have spun out of the project. Coolest of all - open hardware products are now in volume production. People are buying and using these products - often in preference to products developed using traditional closed development models. Open hardware works!

The talk will discuss:

David Rowe has 20 years experience in the development of DSP-based telephony and sat-com hardware/software. David has a wide mix of skills including software, hardware, and project management including a PhD in DSP theory. He has held executive level positions in the sat-com industry ( and has built and successfully exited a small business ( However he has decided he is better at debugging machines than people so currently chooses to hack telephony hardware and software full time.

Arjen Lentz - Open Source and your business and development models
Open Query
An exploration of our world with its few shining successes, littered with many failures, and plenty of conflicting opinions on why things happen the way they do. Arjen will add his own opinion, augmented with examples, references and discussion. We'll cover development model, funding and revenue, intellectual property, community and marketing strategy. All is not as it appears, and some of the old trusted ways of doing things can (no, will!) hurt you, if you don't appreciate their appropriate context. Your approach *will* define the outcome - if you do things as most people in the past, the odds are clearly against you. So let's do better! We also can't ignore one single aspect, they all have a very important part to play.

Pia and Jeff Waugh - Open Source business models and engaging with corporate and government sectors in Australia
Waugh Partners
Jeff and Pia will talk about Open Source business models and how to engage with the corporate and Government sectors in Australia. Including audience discussion on what the industry needs to do for 2009 to push forward commercial adoption.

Bdale Garbee - Collaborating Successfully with large corporations.
HP Linux\\

What should you do when Mega-Corp suddenly takes an interesting in your open source project? Enabling successful collaboration between individual developers and employees of big companies can be extremely rewarding for everyone involved, but it doesn't happen automatically. In this talk, Bdale will share ideas from his experiences on both sides of this equation that may help!

As HP's Open Source & Linux Chief Technologist, Bdale Garbee advises the lead technologists in other HP business units and other HP decision makers on technology and community aspects of Linux and Open Source applications. He mentors internal communities on how to productively participate in the Open Source development process, and encourages the adoption of Open Source software and principles across the company.

A contributor to the Free Software community for more than 25 years, Bdale's background also includes many years of hardware design, Unix internals, and embedded systems work. He was an early participant in the Debian project, helped port Debian GNU/Linux to 5 architectures, served as Debian Project Leader, is chairman of the Debian Technical Committee, and remains active in the Debian community.

Bdale serves as President of Software in the Public Interest, is on the board of directors of the Consumer Electronics Linux Forum and Open Media Now, and is a member of the Linux Journal Editorial Advisory Board. He is a frequent speaker at Linux and Open Source conferences, and works closely with various projects in the Open Source community.

In 2008, Bdale became the first individual recipient of a Lutece d'Or award from the Federation Nationale de l'Industrie du Logiciel Libre in France.

Beyond his work at HP, Bdale engages in a variety of personal activities. His most significant hobbies are high-powered model rocketry and amateur radio, where he is widely known for his contributions to packet radio, weak-signal communications, software defined radio, and building amateur satellites.

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier - Marketing Open Source Projects
Zonker discusses:

  1. why open source projects (community only projects, and projects with a commercial side) would want to engage in marketing and PR.
  2. What benefits they receive.
  3. How a project can market itself with little or no budget, and
  4. strategies and tactics for marketing and PR related to open source.

Zonker is the OpenSUSE community manager.

Ross Turk - Open Source Business 101 for Hackers
The current market is ready for aggressive open source promotion and adoption, but some of us are more comfortable coding projects than commercializing them. How do you make money for your efforts (and enable members of your community to do the same), market your software to the people who care, understand services marketplaces and affiliates and harmonize it all with the unique ideological needs of your communities? While these tasks can seem daunting, a few simple steps can help you better understand and prepare to monetize your project.

Ross Turk, Director of Community at SourceForge, will talk about these steps and more, as he discusses what every coder needs to know about the business behind open source.

Ross Turk has been with the OSTG family since 2000, and has served in multiple capacities during his tenure. Previously, as Engineering Manager for, he spearheaded efforts to improve to the world's largest destination for open source, including the new Software Map and Search and major navigation and aesthetic overhauls. In his current role, Ross is responsible for communicating with the community and responding to their needs. During his twelve-year career, he has focused on assessing and optimizing the business and engineering processes of a wide variety of engineering organizations, always with a passion for Open Source methodologies.

Jacinta Richardson - Running an open source training business
Perl Training Australia

Starting a business is easy. Starting a *successful* business is only a little bit harder. But how do you keep an open source training business going and making money when the shine has worn off and it's now just hard work?

This talk will discuss what it takes to run a successful, small, totally independent, open source training business. It will cover considerations like outsourcing extra tasks (and then taking them back again when it didn't work), holidays, managing staff who prefer to be constantly partying, and advertising to a wide variety of open source user groups without making enemies.

There are also the joys (and pains) of creating training materials, scheduling courses, running training and balancing the books. Tips will be given on how to make training fun, so that your attendees consistently give you high overall ratings; and how to teach the same week-long course twice a month for 6 months running and not get bored.

Finally you'll see how community involvement is essential for micro-businesses like this to survive.

Jacinta Richardson runs Perl Training Australia, a micro-business offering courses throughout Australia. Both as part of her job and a massive free-time sink, she is involved in running conferences (LCA 2007, OSDC 2004-2008, SAGE-AU 2008-2009), attending conferences, speaking at Perl Monger meetings whenever she's in the right town, participating in on-line Perl forums and promoting women in IT. For her work in the Perl community, Jacinta was awarded the White Camel Award in 2008. When away from the computer, Jacinta enjoys scuba diving, cycling and baking.

Lawrence Crumpton - Did Hell freeze over?
Microsoft - Port25
Lawrence is speaking about proprietary - open source interoperability.

Want to know more? Contact bob dot gobeille at hp dot com

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Page last modified on January 08, 2009, at 06:29 AM