The Business of Open Source

As part of the preparation for Open Source Founders Summit, I’m interviewing both our speakers and our attendees for a special podcast that’s hyper focused on one thing. In this episode I spoke with Peter Zaitsev, founder of Percona, about sales. We talked about the specifics of sales as a bootstrapped company — which means sales are exceptionally critical from the beginning, and how sales changed as the company moved from a consulting model to a support model on the open source software that Percona creates. 

Also, this episode was recorded on site at OpenUK’s State of Open Con! 

Here’s the concrete takeaways from this episode: 

  • Even before starting the company, Peter had built up a personal brand as a MySql expert — this is what made it possible for him to get consulting gigs pretty much immediately
  • Peter’s personal brand wasn’t just around MySql in general, but was very specifically focused on MySql performance optimization
  • How a growing team meant that the sales process had to get much more disciplined — and deal sizes had to get bigger so that it’s worth the sales team’s time 
  • How to align sales incentives with your business goals — how it’s important to adjust sales quotas and incentives so that sales people don’t oversell, which can hurt your reputation long-term, and don’t sell long-term agreements at too much of a discount. 
  • Why it’s important to separate out your revenue that comes from new customers and your revenue that comes from customer renewals, and how to do so in the organization

If you want more opportunities to go in-depth on sales for open source companies — and to discuss sales and other aspects of business development with other founders, join us May 27th and 28th in Paris at Open Source Founders Summit. 

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.