The Business of Open Source

Peer Richelsen is the Co-founder of, an open-source calendar scheduling tool. This week, Peer and I discuss his personal experience with needing a customizable scheduling tool, the big leap from taking donations to running a profitable business, and the thought process behind seeking VC funding. Peer also talks about the major advantage of starting with only a paid version of the product in order to build a small community of super users. Lastly, I pick Peer’s brain about how he feels being constantly compared to non open-source scheduling products.

  • Intro (00:00
  • I introduce Peer Richelsen, the Co-founder of, and he discusses the company and its calendar scheduling tool (00:59)
  • Does Peer think about as a dev tool (2:09)
  • What is’s business model (03:57)
  • The lack of customizability in the scheduling tool marketplace (06:15)
  • Switching from accepting donations to selling a profitable product (09:48)
  • Launching without a free version (12:50)
  • The human cost of freemium usage (16:20)
  • The decision to raise VC funds (17:41)
  • What business value being open source brings to the company (20:48)
  • How positions itself in the market (24:13)
  • Interesting mistakes Peer has made as an entrepreneur (28:22)
  • How “free” is the software (30:57)
  • Peer’s parting words (32:27)
  • Where listeners can connect with Peer and learn more about (33:04)

What is The Business of Open Source?

Whether you're a founder of an open source startup, an open source maintainer or just an open source enthusiast, join host Emily Omier as she talks to the people who work at the intersection of open source and business, from startup founders to leaders of open source giants and all the people who help open source startups grow.