The Business of Open Source

Ben Rometsch is the CEO and Founder of Flagsmith, an open-source feature flagging platform. In this conversation, we explore how he landed on the idea to develop an open-source feature flagging project and how that has snowballed into running a full-time SaaS company. Ben describes the challenges of creating a SaaS company from the ground up, especially when it comes to pricing and monetizing. We also discuss the importance of understanding and choosing the right licensing for your product.

  • Intro (00:00)
  • I introduce Ben Rometsch, who is the CEO of Flagsmith, a commercial open-source feature flagging and remote conflict platform (01:00)
  • What made Ben want to build an open-source feature flagging project (01:29)
  • How the open-source project Ben started led to building a company around Flagsmith (03:39)
  • Why Ben feels licenses are so important and how he learned that through early licensing choices at Flagsmith (09:10)
  • When Ben started to monetize Flagsmith (13:24)
  • How Ben’s understanding of what features users wanted to pay for has evolved (15:36)
  • Why caring about the developer experience has set Flagsmith apart for enterprise customers (20:51)
  • When revenue started to take off and why it took external expertise (23:12)
  • Why pricing can be such a frustrating challenge to get right (26:47)
  • How Flagsmith is currently remotely structured (28:57)
  • Ben shares his thoughts on how open source contributes to his business (33:04)
  • How listeners can connect with Ben and learn more about Flagsmith (38:05)


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.