Ryan Sipes

Community Manager/System76

Ryan Sipes is a community builder, open source evangelist, and longtime Linux user. After working on artificial intelligence platform Mycroft A.I., he has joined System76 as their Community Manager. At System76, Ryan is working to usher in the long prophesized year of the Linux desktop.

Building a Business Around Open Source Software
Lessons Learned from 11 Years of Making Computers Born to Run Linux
Lessons from 11 Years Making Machines Born to Run Linux is about providing information to others looking to build a business around open source software. In the talk, my focus will be the problems we faced and how we overcame them whilst building our business around hardware that shipped with Linux and open source software.

The talk will focus on four different stages of creating a business built around OSS: getting started, playing nice with others (projects and businesses in the FOSS community), building a community around your products, and paying it forward (giving back to the broader community).

During the talk, I will be sharing data we have gathered over the years about what worked and what didn’t as far as marketing and decisions around how we built our products. Dead-ends we encountered that others can avoid, such as spending too much on marketing vs encouraging promotion via word-of-mouth. The talk will also cover the big wins, such as befriending community influencers, such as podcasters and project maintainers and showing them the value of our products and how it can empower them (and they in turn end up promoting us).

Finally, I will share open source tools we’ve developed with attendees as well as seek their feedback on what has worked for them and answer their questions. We may also give away some swag to those who participate in QA.

Speaker Content
Twitter: @ryanleesipes