Coming soon: A new book about FOSS strategy in business

2 minute read

In 2018, Pragmatic Bookshelf published my book, Forge Your Future with Open Source. It’s the first (and, so far, only) book about how to contribute to free and open source projects and why you’d want to do something like that. If you’ve not published a book yet, it’s a singular experience. I honestly can’t imagine what could feel better than that moment of holding a copy of my first book in my hands for the first time…except maybe holding a copy of my second book?

Huh. That’s an interesting question. How would the experience be different? Well, there’s only one way to find out…

I’m happy to announce that in 2021 (probably), Pragmatic Bookshelf will publish my next book! 🎉📖🎉

It’ll come as no surprise that this one will also be about free and open source software. This book, however, will be all about what I do for a living: corporate strategy around FOSS, i.e. how to use, contribute to, and release FOSS projects effectively and strategically for your business.

The book is organised into three parts:

  1. Fundamentals: a framework for understanding open source, copyright, and licensing and how these subjects directly impact company success
  2. Inbound (using FOSS): FOSS supply chain tactics and strategies
  3. Outbound (contributing to & releasing FOSS): what to release, why, how

The book won’t be a laundry list of potential actions companies can take with respect to FOSS. That approach to FOSS strategy “advice” is already all too common and leads to people trying cookie-cutter-type approaches to FOSS in their business. This is the antithesis of strategic. There’ll certainly be guidance about the steps to consider when—for example—tackling the question of whether to release an internal project as FOSS. That guidance, however, will be accompanied by information, best practices, and counsel to guide readers toward strategic solutions custom-fit for the needs and goals of their business. To aid with this, each chapter will end with a series of questions, leading the reader toward developing effective open source strategies, tactics, and policies for their company.

The book—which doesn’t yet have a title—will likely be available closer to the end of this year. As the writing progresses, I’ll frequently share short excerpts here on the blog. If you want to stay in the loop for those, please use the handy little RSS feed to subscribe in your favourite reader, or follow me on Twitter for the latest updates. Around halfway through the book, and again near the end, I’ll need people to read the early version of the content and provide feedback. If you’re interested in being a beta reader, please contact me and I’ll add you to the list of potential readers.