2018-12_-_POSS_-_Stay_up_-_travel_of_a_Free_Software_Company.pdf

91812763826e2319128c245b94dc78e5?s=47 fanf42
December 06, 2018

 2018-12_-_POSS_-_Stay_up_-_travel_of_a_Free_Software_Company.pdf

In this talk, I present you our journey on the creation of our company, Normation, which looks like a start up: we had a mission and a founding team, we attended an incubator, we met VCs, and we had a hard time finding a business model. But we are not exactly a start up: no fundraising, no hyper growth... We share our learning as a... stay up maybe?

A full transcript of the talk is available here: https://medium.com/@fanf42/stay-up-5b780511109d

91812763826e2319128c245b94dc78e5?s=128

fanf42

December 06, 2018
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Transcript

  1. Stay Up Journey of a Free Software Company One decade

    in search for a sustainable model CONTINUOUS AUDITING & CONFIGURATION François Armand @fanf42 2018-12-06
  2. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 2 It’s the story of

    4 friends, one decade ago... “We can do better than that”
  3. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 3 Our journey, until now...

  4. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Today 4 Not really a

    start-up. No fundraising. No hyper-growth. CTO Free Software François Armand Inception ~10 years ago Founder in FLOSS ~15 years Devops ~10 years (beginning) Deployed on ten of thousands of servers Labels clients Continuous configuration and audit Co-fondateur
  5. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 5 Color code Question, Initial

    idea Problems met Lessons learned
  6. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 6 In search for a

    business model ~ heureux qui comme Ulysse ~
  7. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Business model 7 ⇒ “support”

    business model ▪ A totally Free Software ▪ “Pro-support” for companies Our constraints
  8. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Business model ▪ Not simple.

    Not repeatable. ▪ Dissonance in our time valuation maximisation: 8 “Boss, I just paid $50,000 for something I could have gotten free of charge." You can't do that. You must say, "I just paid $50,000 for something we uniquely get as a paying customer." You must build that differentiation. Marten Mickos, past MySQL CEO “ ”
  9. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Business model Features (access, sponsorship)

    And maintenance (LTS) 9 ? Users Buyers Spent time / value created } 1. Choose your battles ◦ “Enterprise” plugins ⇏ bad FLOSS citizens 2. Sustainable business model 3. Testable selling model (much simpler)
  10. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 10 The mountain of the

    terrible VC ~ gold and other wonders ~
  11. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Fundraising 11 “We are a

    start-up! We must raise funds!” (and the fundraising is what tells you’re hype, right?)
  12. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 12 VC vs novice startupper

  13. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Fundraising ▪ Optimisation metric: VALUATION

    ▪ Goal: hyper-growth ▪ Focus focus focus focus ▪ VC: by default, in a position of strength 13 VCs, tacit contract
  14. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Fundraising ▪ Do NOT go

    see a VC if you need him. ▪ YOU choose / YOUR company. ▪ One can live without fundraising. 14 NO Fundraising for US ⇒ core values
  15. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 15 Wise advisors around you

    (who kick your ass when needed)
  16. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Coaches and other advisors That’s

    it! We created a company! 16 … And… Er… What’s next?
  17. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Coaches and other advisors 17

    ▪ Loads of classical operational thingies. ▪ Missing the best moment for planning and strategic decisions. ▪ No good social networks.
  18. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Coaches and other advisors ▪

    Incubators ? - Yes for us (saved our company): Télécom Sud Paris - Coaching is the important part - NOT: cheap office / contract template 18 GET ADVISORS (coaches/incubators) ? ▪ Entrepreneurs and business people with a similar experience ▪ NO direct link with your company (not in board, not shareholders) ▪ Classical operational insights ▪ See, anticipate, and force thinking about strategy
  19. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 19 Beginning of the adventure

    ~ Team, mission, told and untold things ~
  20. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Founders, common and individual goals

    (missions) “We can do better than that” ▪ Some trigger, a thought… ▪ Birth of a team ? ▪ Not alone, you go farther ▪ A mission ? ▪ Our mission - a triple will: ▪ Build a libre software, sustainable ▪ Ease cloud transition ▪ Build up a sane and respectfull work place 20
  21. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Founders, common and individual goals

    (missions) How to know if the founding team can pass the first stress-test ? 21
  22. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Founders, common and individual goals

    (missions) ▪ Verbalize the deep motivations of each founder ▪ Explore implications of these motivations CORE VALUES Lining Up = beacon out of crisis ▪ Our example: importance of Free Software => we somehow knew the Business Model will be impacted
  23. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 23 The Dark Mist that

    devours you
  24. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Burn out ▪ You are

    your worst enemy. ▪ You want TO DO. To prove you can. ▪ And there’s always 10 millions things to do. 24 Risk of burn-out
  25. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 Burn out ▪ Prevent :

    - Make yourself dispensable ! - Prioritize. - Share your knowledge and priorities. ▪ Heal : - Accept (CBI test - Copenhagen Burnout Inventory). - Look for help. - Take some distance… To better come back. 25
  26. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 26 Our journey, until now:

    our learning. • The journey is important: ◦ choose your fellowship, ◦ be clear with your core values. • Make yourself dispensable. • Find advisors. • Your company, your choices: ◦ no mandatory path (not even a fundraising), ◦ assess and assume consequences. • Question your users/customers… ◦ … and listen to their answers. • Iterate on your learning.
  27. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 27 Oh! That’s original! One

    more thing...
  28. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 28 Our journey, until now.

    Lifted by Free Software. Here
  29. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 29 Free Software are our

    Digital Commons Goods ▪ Avoid the Tragedy of the Commons. ▪ Build and maintain sustainably ▪ Elinor Ostrom: “make everyone care”. States Enterprises Communities Users
  30. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 30 Questions ?

  31. @fanf42 - poss - 2018-12-06 References and links ▪ Marten

    Mickos, past MySQL AB CEO - Keys to turn your open source project into a business - https://opensource.com/business/14/9/open-source-busi ness-models-part-2 ▪ Smaug painting: - https://alpha.wallhaven.cc/wallpaper/127439 ▪ “Building a World” world map - http://www.twcenter.net/forums/showthread.php?6054 21-BAW-Chapter-1-The-Map ▪ A lot of pictures were found without reference to author or copyrights… If you are the author of one of them, please let me know what you want to do (quote your name/site, remove it…) 31