Going Open Source: The 20 Most Important Things To Do

Source: http://en.oreilly.com/oscon2008/public/schedule/detail/2547

Before deciding on going open source:

1. Analyze open source competition (if there is any)

2. Gather info on successfull open source projects

3. Identify business models (open source is no business model)

4. Calculate on how going open source will lower revenues with existing clients

5. Talk to your investors/shareholders about your idea

6. Develop arguments why going open source is good for your existing clients

7. Define initial features and capabilities of open source version (especially if closed source version will continue to exist)

8. Develop business and financial plan for your investors/shareholders to get their approval

After deciding on going open source:

9. Choose carefully project name and logo

10. Define granularity of source code, admin and user documentation

11. Choose the suitable open source license

12. If the stack below your software would contain closed source components, replace them

13. Take the time and refactor your source code

14. Write the (english) documentation for developers, admins and users

15. Launch a project website with community modules

16. Separate commercial offers from your project website

17. Author announcements to communicate the launch of your open source project

18. Publish the binary and source code on SourceForge

19. Set up a demo server on the internet (if your run a web project)

20. Put the unfinished stuff on a public roadmap

After going open source:

The real work starts now: Outlook what to do to get your project growing

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