Free for Open Source: Marketing to Developers

Accepted Session
Short Form
Scheduled: Thursday, June 28, 2012 from 2:30 – 3:15pm in B204


Developers, like hipsters are simultaneously dead simple and infuriatingly difficult as marketing targets. Learn how supporting open source can be used as a tool to entice developers into your product's world.


If there’s one thing that developers love to make, it’s tools for other developers. Marketing those tools and gaining adoption, however, can be a tricky thing. Developers are full of early-adopter types but are also filled with a “I can do it myself” mentality that can make them difficult to land from a marketing perspective.

One way to overcome this hurdle is by making developer-facing products free for open source projects. This has been proven successful in many cases, but none more than the runaway bootstrapped success that is GitHub. Learn about the advantages to opening up to the open source community as well as tips on how to turn that open source advantage into paying customers.

Speaking experience

I've spoken at numerous technical conferences spanning the past four years. Highlights include OSCON, RubyConf, RailsConf, and ConFoo. Slides for several of my talks are available at and a video of a recent talk can be found here:

I've never given this talk before.