The Business of Open Source

Garima Kapoor, COO and co-founder of MinIO, joins me to share her journey from investor and advisor to co-founder of MinIO and the wealth of knowledge she’s amassed along the way. 
In this episode, Garima explains how her experience in finance and belief in the power of open source helped MinIO to break into the data storage market. She also reviews the challenges she faced as a first-time founder and what others can learn from her mistakes and take away from some of their own. Since Garima started her journey with MinIO as CFO, she outlines that role for me and explains how she thinks a CFO should operate in an open source company. In reviewing mistakes she’s seen from other founders, Garima states some principles that create the “foundation for any open source business.”  - “You should always be very honest to your community. You should always be very transparent to the community”

  • Garima introduces herself and explains why she and her co-founders started MinIO (1:31)
  • Garima describes how the MinIO founders honed in on a problem they wanted to solve (3:55)
  • How the MinIO founders used open source crack the market (6:37)
  • What triggers a user to purchase a commercial license for the product (10:33)
  • Garima explains why she and her cofounders were set on their open source strategy from day one (11:35)
  • Garima explores the differences between being an investor and advisor for other companies and starting her own. (13:25)
  • Garima shares go-to-market advice for other founders (15:21)
  • Garima outlines her strategy for building on small successes (18:38)
  • Garima explains why she started as CFO for MinIO and breaks down the role a CFO can play in a new company (21:46)
  • Why Garima thinks a CFO’s role remains the same in an open source company as compared to a proprietary company (27:17)
  • How to avoid competing with your open source product when you also have a commercial offering (34:06)


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.