JSJ 410: Iterating on Open Source
Today the panel is discussing iterating on open source projects. Aimee and AJ recall a conversation they had in the past on this subject and AJ talks about some of his experience iterating with open source. AJ believes that we have an obligation to capture the value of what you create so that we can reinvest and create more value, though he admits that making money in open source is a unique challenge because donations only really work if you have a project that gets billions of downloads a month. As your project grows, it has to change in order to survive, and eventually you will need to get financial support from your project. The panel agrees that some of the main issues with iterating in open source are maintaining the code and getting feedback from users, financial backing, and roadmapping and integrations.
Another common issue is integrating with other services. Integrating with cloud services, or at least giving people the option to integrate gives you an opportunity to reach more people and maintain the project long term. AJ gives some final thoughts to close the show, namely that most projects never go anywhere, and that’s ok. If you’ve got something that starts going somewhere, think early on about how you can better serve the community and remember that these people are mostly grateful and semi-willing to support you. He believes that if you are helping people create value, you deserve to see the fruits of your labor. He advises listeners to stay true to your open source ideals, think about your users perspective, and that the earlier you can think about this and make these choices, the better it is for your project
- Aimee Knight
- Steve Edwards
- AJ O’Neal
- Charles Max Wood
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Charles Max Wood:
What are the main issues with iterating in open source?
Some of the main issues with iterating in open source are maintaining the code and getting feedback from users, financial backing, and roadmapping and integrations.
What should you consider when making changes to your open source project?
You should consider who it will help, who it will frustrate, and who it may cause problems for.
Why can it be difficult to keep users up to date on upcoming changes?
Not everyone will opt into your email list, and this is why it is important to have data on your user base so that you can avoid breaking changes to the best of your ability.
Why is it important for your open source project to integrate with other services?
Integrating with other services, such as the cloud, or at least giving people the option to integrate gives you an opportunity to reach more people and maintain the project long term.