More on Open Source Sustainability

Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

Having been helping dozens of Open Source projects to grow, either with marketing tactics or sales strategies, my long time biggest passion has been how Open Source ventures can possibly sell their products without upselling their own community.

I remember myself talking and commenting about how some Open Source companies approached the problem in the past: think of NGINX,  Funambol, as well as companies who later dropped their Open Source strategy, like SugarCRM. Today I wish to share some insights about how we’re approaching this at FileZilla®, and how that is going.

The FileZilla project started in 2001 as a class project, 16 years later is one of the most popular Open Source applications in the world: FileZilla counts 100+ Million downloads per year, and the site on average gets over 3.5 Million unique visitors per month. Enough to say FileZilla IS a commercializable project. Quoting Nadia Eghbal:

“Think about the open source project as the market, not the product.”

Historically speaking FileZilla has been focusing only on FTP-like protocols (FTP, SFTP and FTPS). So when we started brainstorming ideas around what people would have paid for, it was natural to think about extending it to other network protocols.

So when over an year ago at FileZilla we decided to build a pro version targeted at administrators, developers, engineers we thought that offering them a seamless access to Amazon S3 was a good start.

Few months later, backed by over 12,000 happy customers, we just added WebDav support.

We’re at the very beginning of our journey, and we’re very grateful to both our loyal user base and our growing customer base. In future posts I’ll make sure to provide insights on how our funnel marketing works, products’ roadmaps and more.

Stay tuned.