Bootstrap Open Source

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This initiative has been merged with the Community Playbook project.

Discussion Group


The Bootstrap Network's tag line is: the open source community for bootstrappers. This initiative is about the "open source" aspect. Specifically, we seek to codify and continually improve our understanding of what open source means for bootstrap and how it works in our community.

A recent discussion on the yahoo group highlighted that there is a vast sea of opinion about what open source means. We get some clarity when we separate the "spirit" of open source versus a specific implmentation of it. Rather than try to force-fit bootstrap into some idealistic notion of "open source," we evolve our thinking, using ideas that work and discarding those that do not.

As with all things bootstrap, coming to "open source" has been more a result of necessity and evolution rather than a preconceived plan to employ open source principles. While certain bootstrappers like Kevin and Chris Garrigues came to the idea early, it took a little while for Bijoy to understand and warm to it. Bootstrap has always been about open communication, sharing and support - all of which can be described as "open source." We went further down this path when Bijoy brought up the idea of charging fees. Through a heated discussion that followed on the yahoo group, we came to the notion that members could contribute a negotiated service in lieu of fees. This has since evolved to the idea of contributing one's product or service to the group.

One common misconception about open source is that it is a free-for-all. Nothing could be further from the truth! There are rules for engagement, ways that projects and initiatives come to life and these are all carefully and methodically nurtured and managed.


with support from Kevin, Bijoy and Jon Lebkowsky

Working Documents