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Professional Open Source, JBoss VP Speaks

Bob Bickel, JBoss's VP of strategy and corporate development has posted a lengthy commentary on JBoss's recent $10 mil. funding round. In his post he introduces the term “Professional Open Source” and addresses some of the common questions coming from the JBoss community.

Highlights follow.

JBoss announced that we closed $10M in VC funding on Feb. 19, 2004.

The simple reason to move forward with VC funding is that it helps enhance the Professional Open Source business model. We think that there are a lot of developers, IT shops, software, systems and integration partners that want a “safe” open source project to use.

JBoss laid down a new business plan in September, 2003 that was based around shifting from a consulting focus to helping customers that had moved or were moving JBoss into Production environments.

Customers are moving JBoss into real production applications

…our [Professional Support] pricing, based on the number of applications, and not the number of CPU's is a lower cost model that is easier to administer.

We will continue to be an LGPL biased company.

JBoss developers are all making a decent living and working on open source software that is very widely used.

In spite of tripling revenue in 2003 over 2002, tripling employee count and paying Sun a very large fee for J2EE Certification, JBoss was both profitable and cash flow positive.

BEA has over $250M per year of revenue just from Support of just the WebLogic Application Server. There is room to grow a large company.

A top quality VC brings much more than money, they bring the experience of helping companies go thru the growing pains. They help set up appropriate governance models, thru due diligence assure proper accounting, contracts, employee agreements, option agreements, etc. are put in place. They help build a management team…

We were looking for several things in a VC partner:

* They had to agree to our services model. Many VC's wanted us to sell a higher functionality version for a price - and we immediately cut those off.

* They had to have experience in Middleware and Java and understand our space. We did not want pure finance types.

* They had to be able to work with us on a day-day basis to grow this company. That means that we had to like each other, respect each other and help each other grow.

* They had to have an excellent reputation and track record. Tier 1 VC firms like Matrix and Accel are quite simply very good to work with.

* We wanted to keep control of the company - meaning we did not want to give control over to the VC in terms of ownership % of the company.

This is good news for JBoss employees. It means the company keeps growing and offering new opportunities for everyone.

Read the original posting.

Read JBoss Group Delivers Open Source Content Management with Nukes on JBoss Offering

 
 
 
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