Open Source communities in a for profit world

Short Form


How do you reconcile both community and business needs in an open source project?


Since open source has hit the mainstream, people have been trying to grep the idea of what an open source business model would be. In intermixing a for-profit organization with the freedom loving principles of the FLOSS movement, there inevitably is a struggle point between the two. Several models of business have emerged to attempt to rectify this, but each tends to come with it’s own baggage along the way, and communities tend to struggle with this.

In this talk, I’ll explore the business models out there that attempt to work with Open Source communities to help grow a healthy business. We’ll also debate and discuss what the future holds here, and how better these business models bridge between the corporate and communtity needs.

Speaking experience

OSCON, POSSCON, Open World Forum, and various other Open Source and Development conferences all over the world.


  • John mertic 1500x2100 04 10 2012 casual smaller

    John Mertic



    John Mertic serves as Solutions Architect and Community Manager for SugarCRM, having several years of experience with PHP web applications and open source communities. A frequent conference speaker and an avid writer, he has been published in php|architect, IBM Developerworks, and in the Apple Developer Connection, and is the author of the book ‘The Definitive Guide to SugarCRM: Better Business Applications’ and the book ‘Building on SugarCRM: Creating Applications the Easy Way’. He has also contributed to many open source projects, most notably the PHP project where is the creator and maintainer of the PHP Windows Installer. He also sits on the board of the OW2 Consortum, and serves as secretary of the OpenSocial foundation.