Open Source Software for Product Managers (Freeloaders are necessary)

Long Form


There are simple rules to understand when building products from open source software. Product teams (from engineering to marketing) need to understand these rules to participate best in open source project communities and deliver products and services to their customers at the same time. These rules hold regardless of whether the vendor created and owns the project or participates.


Developing products and services with open source software projects has been going on for twenty years. There are best practices and many success stories, but there are a number of anti-patterns that crop up along the way. The presenters take attendees through examples good and bad, and develop a set of patterns and practices for success. Topics include:

- Open Source Business Models Redux
- License Considerations (or Not)
- Risk Management for the Business
- Projects are not Products; Communities are not Customers
- Encouraging Freeloaders (Grow the User Base, Find Developers, and Encourage Contributors)
- Foundations and Other Exotica

By the end of the tutorial, attendees should understand what they need to do to best engage in external open source projects or put in place for their own projects for business success.


product management, community, software business

Speaking experience

SCaLE 14x [],
SCaLE 11x [], OSCON 2012 [],
OSCON 2008, USENIX Invited Talks (2006, 2005, 2001).


  • Srw 2013 sm

    Stephen Walli

    Hewlett Packard Enterprise


    I am a technical executive, a founder, a consultant, a writer, an international business person, a systems developer, a software construction geek, and a standards diplomat. I love to build teams, and products that make customers ecstatic. I have worked in the IT industry since 1980 as both customer and vendor. I am a Distinguished Technologist at Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

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