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Ten Surprising Lessons I Learned While Launching An Open Source Startup

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This is the slide deck from my presentation at Linux Conference Australia 2015, held in amongst the endless hills of the beautiful city of Auckland, New Zealand. The presentation explored the lessons that I've learned in the process of launching an open source startup.

It's based on my experience working on PressGang CCMS, a project that I cofounded while working as part of a content team at Red Hat, and which as of 2014 was responsible for two thirds of the company's global software documentation output.

Solving internal problems was one thing, but scaling this solution for technical writers worldwide is another. As a result, I founded an incredible open source startup called Corilla.

Corilla is a beautiful publishing tool for technical writers that solves the problem of collaboratively authoring & managing documentation in the cloud. It's an incredible product with an incredible team, but in the process our the journey so far we've learned some equally incredible lessons.

While the slides alone don't give the full story, I hope you enjoy the context at least. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch. My details are on the final slides and I would be happy to talk open source, technical communication, or software documentation.

Publicado en: Software
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Ten Surprising Lessons I Learned While Launching An Open Source Startup

  1. 1. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “10 surprising lessons I learned while launching an open source techcomm startup”
  2. 2. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 It is responsible for over two thirds of their global software documentation and has published over 800 books in over 22 languages. So surely launching this as an open source startup would be easy.... Right? We built a component content management system for the world’s first billion dollar open source software company.
  3. 3. @teamcorilla at #lca2015
  4. 4. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 who am i?
  5. 5. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 (no really)
  6. 6. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 content & startups & community David Ryan
  7. 7. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 #lca2015 Tweet the good bits. Share our community. Let everyone know what we’re capable of with open source.
  8. 8. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 there is a massive need for a simple solution #1___
  9. 9. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 content & startups & community
  10. 10. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “need mobile” “so sick of Adobe” “local installs suck” “expensive licenses” “pointless CLI complexity” ___
  11. 11. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 we are in the most exciting time for techcomms #2___
  12. 12. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “more tech, more users, more channels, more words, more power to narrative... and to us” ___
  13. 13. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 this is the year of UX in open source #3___
  14. 14. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “open source has won for developers, but we must create a beautiful user experience to win for consumers” ___
  15. 15. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 busy
  16. 16. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 busy beautiful
  17. 17. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 it’s time for mobile first (or we all come last) #4___
  18. 18. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 content & startups & community
  19. 19. @teamcorilla at #lca2015
  20. 20. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 don’t be known for no (because yes has a way of happening) #5___
  21. 21. @teamcorilla at #lca2015
  22. 22. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 open source is the ultimate MVP #6___
  23. 23. @teamcorilla at #lca2015
  24. 24. @teamcorilla at #lca2015
  25. 25. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “it lets us use existing project components to test customer content problems without coding the wrong solution” ___
  26. 26. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 open source still gets the money #7___
  27. 27. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “as long as you are solving a real problem for real customers we’re going to help you make this really happen” ___
  28. 28. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 tech writing is content marketing #8___
  29. 29. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “it’s no longer about books, and your customer is no longer coming to you for help – you need to compete for attention” ___
  30. 30. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 ___ { { { {your book... wiki... blog... whatever... Upstream Downstream
  31. 31. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 team is everything #9___
  32. 32. @teamcorilla at #lca2015
  33. 33. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 we are all wrong (only the customer is right) #10___
  34. 34. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 “no (documentation) survives first contact with the (customer)” ___
  35. 35. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 scope creep is everywhere #11___
  36. 36. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 #1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 Full reports for every lesson published each week on Guest posts and columns this week on Yahoo Business news. Tweet us any time @teamcorilla! What do you think about my lessons? Let me know!
  37. 37. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 @teamcorilla @davedri ___
  38. 38. @teamcorilla at #lca2015 ___ Photo credits (the small print): Slide 20 – “Moon shot” photo * “Buzz Aldrin on the Moon” by NASA is in the public domain. How awesome is that? (AS11-40-5903). Slide 30 – A year as a startup (from my personal Instagram feed) * Receiving the Budding Entrepreneur’s Grant from Brisbane’s Lord Mayor Graham Quirk * Un café avec Vanessa Quinlan (Office Manager – Microsoft Ventures, Paris, France) * Visiting Fishburners in Sydney after pitching our first project to The Walkey Foundation * Hustling as media at Slush in Helsinki, Finland, with Corilla’s design talent Nina Wei * Mentoring on customer acquisition at Lean Startup Machine at River City Labs * Writing an article for StartupSmart while on the media hustle at Slush in Helsinki, Finland * Another flight for another pitch with Corilla busdev talent, Luke Swetman * Posing with Dr Liz Ellison after my first university lecture on entrepreneurialism at QUT