Thinking About Open Source

Posted May 28, 2008

I've been talking with a bunch of people about releasing the next version of UpSale as an open source project, and I want your opinion on the matter.

We've managed to find a niche that doesn't seem well served by existing open source projects — light weight ERP tools for small businesses that make and sell their own products. Our customers deal with the same sorts of supply chain, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and customer relationship issues that big companies face, but on a different scale, with different priorities, and restricted financial and technical capabilities.

I have a burning desire to see small upstarts upset the status quo, especially when it comes to local businesses with an eye for sustainable products. Stepping up and embracing open source makes a lot of sense for how we run our business, how we want to serve our customers, and empowers independent developers and the small business community as a whole.

All that said, there's a lot that goes into sponsoring and building a successful open source project, and we don't want to jump in unprepared. I'm poking my friends and colleagues to see what sorts of things make open source projects attractive and successful, and I'd love to hear from the folks who read my blog as well.

Your thoughts?

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