The Way Forward
How do we move forward?
We can pull all of this together with set of of sustainable open source community principles - these are the guidelines we should follow if we want to create a sustainable open source community. Then we can create specific implementations of these principles for our communities - social contracts that spell out the communities’ intentions, their relationship to monetization, and the principles upon which they will thrive: their community social contract.
I don’t pretend to know or have seen all the possible models, or have a perfect understanding of what happens when we build intentionally sustainable open source communities. My hope is that we can help each other, and the industry at large, understand that communities are about people coming together with common cause, and helping each other day by day. That the value of development in the commons isn’t just a technically superior model: it’s also the right social and ethical model.
I believe that if we do that, we will start to see a reverse of the trend where the most closed companies have the best outcomes. Instead, we will see that the companies who are the best participants in the community, who build the best, most sustainable model of helping their users and customers solve their problems, will be the winners. There is no comparison to the impact we have on each other when we form supportive, inclusive, meaningful communities. I hope you’ll join me.