Python for Entrepreneurs Transcripts
Chapter: Growth hacking basics
Lecture: Open source
0:01 If you've got some awareness and interest in your product, but people just don't seem to be taking that next step towards using it,
0:08 what approach you can think about depending on of course your own business is whether you could open source some code that you've created
0:15 and essentially fit that into the funnel, if developers happen to be part of your prospective customers, open sourcing some bit of code can generate
0:22 not only some awareness, but also speed the adoption and the usage by letting people try out in their own systems the code that you've created.
0:30 This one a little bit hard to describe, just theoretically, so we'll take a look at two specific examples.
0:36 The first one is a project called Sidekiq which has background processing for Ruby think about task queues which offload some of the code execution
0:44 outside of the usual http request response cycle in a web application, it allows you to do batch jobs and that sort of thing on the side.
0:52 Sidekiq is released as open source for the Ruby community, you can go and check out the github repository;
0:57 but there's also a business behind it as well, the developer who created this
1:01 also decided that there should be a pro version and an enterprise version, so that he could work on this open source project full time.
1:08 The idea here is Sidekiq is really useful to a lot of Ruby developers, particularly ones that use rails, so why shouldn't he spend more time
1:17 improving the quality of this software, so that other developers who are relying on it don't have to worry that much about this part of the system,
1:23 and then companies pay him for that support. So this model is almost a support or a licensing agreement
1:29 that everything gets fed back into that open source project. Developers are likely to use Sidekiq because it's already open source
1:37 and they know they can fork the repository and modify the code if they need to, but companies that are relying on it know
1:43 that development is not going to suddenly go inactive, it's a good hybrid model that allows this developer to keep building with it.
1:49 If you want to learn more about Sidekiq, there is a really great site that has many examples of developers who have gone
1:55 and built their own businesses on indiehackers.com. Indie Hackers did an interview with the creator of Sidekiq,
2:01 and explained how we got started and that sort of thing and just in general how open source allows Sidekiq
2:06 to continually get adopted by Ruby developers, and then also companies that are relying on Sidekiq can pay him for support
2:13 so that he can continue to pour his own time back into the project. Other than the website, Sidekiq is not being hosted by this developer
2:21 so let's take a look at one more example, which is Sentry. Sentry originally started out as a way to collect and view errors
2:28 that were occurring in Django applications. It was open source because this was a common problem
2:33 error reporting and logging as happens in every single Django application, and over time Sentry became so popular that the developers realized
2:41 this would be really useful as a product, so they created a hosted version of Sentry, which takes the pain out of hosting it yourself,
2:49 rather than a developer having to stand up their own server, secure that server and then have their own version of Sentry
2:55 which of course they need to patch and maintain over time. They can just pay Sentry and the developers
3:02 who are creating the open source version of Sentry to host it for them. So if the prospective customers for your web application are developers
3:08 having some open source component whether that's something they can host themselves or something that helps them in their own application,
3:15 or provides a critical piece of the application that they're building can be a way to speed adoption and usage for your business.
3:21 Now I don't want to make it sound like this was all conceived in a grand plan by these developers, a lot of the stuff evolves over time,
3:28 but with hindsight, we can see that whether your project starts as open source or if you open source something later on,
3:35 that could potentially help in the funnel. If you're solving some hard problem with your application
3:40 consider this as a possible strategy, if you're running into roadblocks to usage.