Mautic Conference Global 2021 Day 2 Opening Keynote

I had the pleasure on June 17th, 2021 to host Ben Nickolls, the Executive Director of the Open Source Collective, at the start of Day 2 of the Mautic Global Conference. We discussed a range of topics and I’m thrilled to share the entire keynote with you.

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YouTube Transcript

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Hey! good morning good afternoon good evening around the world welcome to day two of the Mautic global conference 2021 my name is David Schargel and I am the owner and manager of ambient vision and wishhook which is a boutique digital marketing agency I i hope you all found yesterday to be as fascinating as interesting as I did matter of fact I came away with the two very very specific actionable things that I’m going to be implementing as soon as I get back from my holiday and I i some of you know me and I want to invite you all to join our meetup that is done once a month on the first monday I’m sorry the first tuesday of each month there is a online help desk that is hosted by myself and joey keller and we just invite people from all different types of questions all different types of comments from beginner and novice questions up to intermediate we even had some advanced expert questions that have come in there so feel free to join in anytime to that mautic help desk today I want to thank you guys for coming here welcome to the the once again of the masters of this mountic universe I don’t know if you know this but it’s now been exactly 75 months since the release of mautic 1.0.0 and congratulations on you guys being here and seeing mounting through this near exponential growth we’ve been having people who are attending the session some of us are technologists some of us are marketers some of us are developers some of us work at agencies or independent but we we all provide services that serve people who need what mautic has to offer I really believe that using our voice as marketers using our voices technologists is not just another job one of the consistent things that I’ve always seen and is truly coming out during this conference is that there’s really a deeper passion for what we do and and also for how we do it so I i want you to know this I’m inspired by all of you coming here and celebrating mautic in 2021 I also want to take a moment to thank not only you guys but also our partners our speakers who are here our current past and future mountic participants and also want to thank our customers for for allowing us to bring marketing automation to their front door this idea of democratic funding is fascinating it’s every contribution is is a vote regardless of the amount it’s considered to be a vote for a project under this fund oss at the conclusion of the fund oss campaign the funds are going to be distributed from a huge matching pool of 75 000 us dollars based on the frequency of donations that come in there so the distribution is based mostly on the votes that they that come in rather than the value the total value of the donations this way the total match can be 10 times the amount of the contributions or even 100 times the amount of the individual contributions and donations that are being made and what’s happening is that there’s a certain weight that is given to a project with the high frequency of contributions rather than a single large contributor that dominates that particular round of contributions into fund oss so I’m asking you guys today to please take a moment to jump over to the fund oss landing page for mautech go ahead and make a contribution it can be as little as five dollars it can be 10 20 100 please take a moment to make that contribution the more contributions we get the more money is going to go into the mountic community so I just want to impress upon you the importance of activating this community once again growing this community and I want to take a moment to hopefully have you understand that the most significant impact that you can have as an individual for the purpose of monetary contributions is to make that monetary contribution so please this is your time to contribute in that monetary way and today I’ve been joined by ben nichols ben is the executive director and chief product officer at open collective which is heading up this fund oss campaign ben has been involved with open source for quite a while now for many many many years I don’t know if you can recall heartbleed the heartbeat harp lead bug was a fairly serious vulnerability in the popular open ssl cryptographic software library and shortly after the resolution started towards what was going on with the heartbleed bug ben joined a small group of people who were asking themselves well what other projects look like open ssl and what is it we can do to help those types of open source projects move forward in this world today open sources used just about 70 of all internet connected transactions and interactions so today i’d like to take a moment to introduce ben thanks for thanks for joining us here and let’s have a little little chat I had a couple of questions for you about the open collective as well as the fund oss that was recently put forth and first can you tell us a little bit about what open collective is yeah so open collective helpfully is more than one thing it’s kind of a constellation of organizations there’s open collective inc which is a for-profit company that provides a platform and that platform is used to transparently kind of raise manage spend money and open collective is also kind of known as open source collective which is a host organization that uses the open collective platform to support open source projects well you know as as we’re going to hear multiple times during this conference there it’s now become easier to make financial contributions to mount it and with a new open source collective open collective project it makes it easier to get a a matching amount of sorts to it I’m curious [Music] you know what is it that’s going to convince the the c-suite people in in enterprises that that software is here to stay and separately I’m curious on what do you think is holding back the free and open source software from keeping its big growth curve that it’s currently been having so I mean I’m i’m not entirely sure that I need to convince the c-suite the open source software is here to kind of stay I think we’re pretty much at the point where we’re all convinced that open source software is one if you look at various kind of surveys that have been published by people like black dark now synopsis I think then you’ll see that the growth and adoption of open source within industry and more generally has just got to the point where 99.9 of the time there’ll be something open sources in there my boiler which is a wood pellet boiler has a notice on the inside of the instruction manual that talks about the open source components that are based in the boards that control the fire that is working with so literally open source software is keeping me safe and warm in my own home I think that the the convincing that needs to be done is probably on what to contribute back to open source and that’s a part of what we’re trying to do as open source collective is we support open source projects but we also try to engage these organizations in issues around kind of the sustainability of open source software and and what and why they should contribute back I think what was the second part of your question was around what’s limiting open source software yeah I mean open source you know open source you know we’re talking about over 70 of the connected world being involved with open source in some way but I’m curious on what do you think potentially could be holding it back from keeping its big growth curve that’s experiencing yeah anything but is really just making it you know more difficult as time goes on yeah I i think 100 the thing that’s holding open source back if anything is money and there’s two issues with this so the life cycle of an open source project kind of starts and it usually starts with like a software developer scratching their own it just the cliche right and from that point you kind of have this massive flame of implicit incentives to contribute open source has been built on the basis that people are there to learn and to grow and to develop software collaboratively so they can build you know to a certain degree a portfolio things they worked on they can practice their craft and so on and that is all just piling straight into the start and kind of mid kind of part of an open source project life cycle but once you get to the kind of maturity level the projects like openssl and that tls and so on are in they’re much more kind of reactive kind of maintenance mode within the lifecycle of that project and a lot of those implicit kind of incentives to contribute go out the window like it’s not really all that big and cool to say I spend six hours a month maintaining just updating the packages for you know curl or something it’s just certainly less cool than saying hey I work on vue.js which is the new big thing in the javascript community and I think we need to kind of look at money as being another explicit incentive to be able to kind of bring people into that process and then there’s one other aspect I want to talk about which is privilege so I kind of feel like open source for a long time has basically been the domain of the privileged we’ve been able to contribute to open source software because we have free time and we have free money and I know because of my work with a project called librariesio the open source software is predominantly the domain of white middle-class americans and europeans and all the people that we would expect to see that kind of put into those privileged cohorts so I think money is another massive kind of player in bringing the developing world and all of the diversity of perspectives and experience that those those people can kind of bring to open source and I think that’s just going to massively accelerate both the development of open source software and also the just general sustainability in terms of diversity and and just people involved it’s just going to be amazing but we need to support those people coming in because they don’t have those same freedoms often and that is just a massive massive issue you know you say that it’s the domain of the privileged I’m curious do you have a sense on how we’re going to be bringing the developing world into the world of open source without paying for it well this is the challenge and I think this is why we need to start talking about money in open source we’re working with groups in africa we work with open source community africa with one board members samsung golly who is evangelizing participation in open source through series events we support them through spaces that we provide physically and virtually for them to talk about open source and projects that are accepting contributions we work through them to be able to get people into projects like season of docs or summer of code that’s supported by google I think we just generally need more programs like that but we also need more general funding for open source and I think what we need to do is kind of build an acceptance of money as an explicit motivated for contributing to open source but also as a supportive kind of basis for people to enter and work within open source that wouldn’t otherwise be able to do so and it’s really on maintainers and those who are in kind of leadership positions in industry and in open source projects themselves to kind of wake up to that fact and to realize that there is a huge huge potential in these people like where’s the next generation of open source maintainers come from this should be from africa should be from asia it should be from all of these nations and yeah I just I’m really excited about just a little a little bit making that happen yeah it’s it’s not just the the financial side it’s also the human side and you know you’re you’re talking about sustainability this is something that we hear quite often in different fashions and I think sustainability has kind of become a buzzword you know if I open up yet another magazine that talks about sustainable this and sustainable that I feel like I’m just going to lose it kind of thing you know and it’s in its classic form sustainability just simply means preserving things for future users future genera future generations and I’m curious for the for the greater good for the entire community at large with the open source world can you explain exactly what sustainability means to that greater good yeah I think maybe we’re a bit unfortunate that right now the world is kind of waking up in in various other domains to what sustainability means for that particular resource and sustainability in open source has been characterized in a number of ways that is based on kind of the perception of open source software as a public good which I’m pretty sure is not and i’ll be talking a little bit more about that later on today but also kind of characterizes this tragedy of the commons kind of problem in which it’s very difficult to to manage a resource that is shared by so many people and that in doing so is very difficult to organize even if you can agree that you need to manage that particular resource so I think for me sustainability starts with the sustainability of an individual project and it starts by thinking about resilience and it starts by thinking about how a project can adapt to changes and that might be changes in in terms of usage might be changes in terms of the landscape upon which it is built of like open source dependencies or within the kind of cases in which that project is being used you know we now have open source software on mars who’d have thought about that maybe that means that we need to think differently about that particular project and the cases in which it’s been deployed and again it means resilience in terms of people so what happens when core contributors leave what happens when contribution comes down usage goes up we start to look at kind of the the landscape of usage more as a kind of stadium than than as a kind of peer-to-peer participation project and I think honestly sustainability for me within that context is about diversity and I don’t want to label the point about people but it includes diversity of people it also includes diversity of sources of income one of the issues that we have a lot is you know someone kind of brings a big kind of wallet to the game and it’s like well how much is that going to skew development and it’s just like well there are many different ways in which to financially support an open source project and you know we’re introducing we hope a new way for the future with fund oss which we’ll talk a little bit about as well but ultimately if we have a more diverse kind of set of ways in which we’re supporting the work financially it will offset a lot of those kind of motivations that someone with you know that big wallet can kind of bring in the thing that’s interesting for me though is about how potentially we need to move away from sustainability for the individual and think about sustainability for the commons and as open source as a community because the potential to support a project financially both in terms of like its exposure its place in like the open source stack whether it’s a direct dependency of companies like you know facebooks and googles and so on whether it’s one of these deeper dependencies like openssl or tls or curl even that that opportunity isn’t equally distributed but all of those opportunities are equally distributed across the whole of open source so maybe we need to start moving towards a model where I think about open source as a commons and sharing all of those opportunities with one another in order to sustain the whole I know that it’s only recently fund oss has only recently started but I’m curious for people that like me when I went in and I was like oh I’m gonna make a contribution to maltik specifically I saw two other projects and I was like oh right one of which I knew about which I’m going to make a contribution for and the other one that I just loved the little pitch that they were giving have you found in the I know it’s been fairly recent but have you found that people are doing something similar where they’re discovering new projects that they maybe wouldn’t have known about and making contributions towards that as well as what they went there to make the original contribution for yeah very much and we built fund oss with this in mind so experience from gatecoin grants was the average contributor to a project would normally support in actual fact anywhere from like three to seven projects and having spoken a little bit about how the opportunity to raise financial support for open source isn’t equally distributed this is something that we’re really trying to lean in with fund mss because there do exist projects like maltic that have somewhat of a halo effect and they kind of drag the center of gravity towards them in more traditional kind of match funds where it’s a one to one or x to one kind of matching ratio what you often see is those projects kind of sucking all the air out of the room but in the knowledge that people using this kind of democratic funding method usually support more than one project what we’ve done is kind of built this recommendation engine in and what we’ve done is grouped projects that are in a similar domain or have a kind of similar context so that that halo effect kind of establishes groups of projects that are maybe less well-known and that we can kind of share some of that opportunity through very simple interactions where we recommend projects if you’re viewing multi-say or if you add it to your car maybe we’ll recommend more projects or in fact we even have the concept of a car where you can kind of select a menu of projects that you want to support check out and support those projects and then share those projects as like your personal cart for others to be able to just add it to theirs and support as well so yeah it’s all about kind of trying to share this opportunity democratize the kind of distribution of funds within the the matching algorithm and just generally trying to kind of bring more money and attention into the the space I spoke a little bit earlier about the the starting pilot project has matching amounts of up to 75 000 us dollars I’m curious on how that money gets split apart amongst different monetary contributions can you speak towards that a little bit yeah sure so I don’t want to talk too much about mathematically how it works but effectively there is an algorithm which has a fundamentally quadratic kind of distribution over the match fund and the the participants in the actual funding campaign so what we’ve done is raised 75 000 for this first round which is two weeks long and that fund comes from my organization open source collective open collective foundation and git coin who have all put in about 25 000 each thank you very much and what we do is we allocate at the end of the round that fund according to the algorithm such that every contribution effectively has an equal vote so instead of some person turning up with ten thousand dollars and grabbing another ten thousand dollars or twenty thousand dollars or thirty thousand dollars from the fund what you have is people voting on every single contribution with an equal amount of weight basically the tldr of all this is is in the following example where you have a thousand dollars and you have two projects and you have one project that raises ten dollars from one person and you have another project that raises ten dollars from ten people you’ll find over ninety percent of that thousand dollar match fund goes to the project with the 10 funders rather than the project with a single funder which is why we’re kind of calling it democratic funding is that it’s more about kind of the the vote than it is the weight of contributions that are made during the campaign it’s exciting I I’m looking forward to its success here and I hope that everybody here also makes some type of monetary contribution via fund oss from open collective standpoint getting back to this open collective as an organization I’m curious mautic has gotten to the point specifically maltic has gotten to the point where now not a small growing community but a larger mid-tier you know an expanding community how does open collective help a group like maltec our community yeah so I think there’s there’s a couple of things and again it’s you’re trying to a small degree to distinguish between open collective as a platform and open source collective as a host organization so open collective as a platform it’s only really opinionated about a couple of things and that’s kind of community and transparency I think open source collective inherits that opinionated kind of technology by default and we’re very grateful too because personally and professionally I agree the community and transparency within communities is the way to kind of build open source software not really a fan of the benevolent dictator kind of model but yeah I think open collective is there to ease the transition from working as a smaller group of core contributors to working as a more kind of dispersed nebulous kind of group of contributors and maintainers and to be able to use money as a tool to be able to accelerate development and to be able to do a hell of a lot more within the community than just developing software right so open collective supports events supports you know little projects so that if you want to you can raise funds for particular projects or you can spend funds in particular projects as well it’s a relatively new feature and then over the top of all of that we have open source collective which exists to support and financially provide a service called fiscal sponsorship in which we are effectively the host of the project when it comes to legal issues and when it comes to tax and when it comes to holding funds and but also we are here to offer the human support to maintainers and contributors members of that community to go through the experience of building that community and establishing a governance framework and just being there to kind of offer support and services that often don’t make sense for individual open source projects but do make sense as a collection of open source projects and a community of open source more generally to kind of share those kind of resources so maybe that when that comes to kind of copywriting or when it comes to management or so on what we want to do is kind of build a basis a foundation of support for all member projects as well and then on top of that we also have conversations like this and projects that we’re running like fundrss and contributor funds and sustain which is a group of meetings that are predominantly kind of research and kind of high level kind of thinking around the problem space and understanding it and developing an understanding with industry and academia about you know this public goods failure of the the commons and and basic economics so yeah we’re also trying to kind of build the the basis of understanding that we’ll down the road help us solve some of these issues as well and talking about down the road only a few months ago in early 2021 you became executive director of the organization is there any specific directions you want to take in the upcoming years yeah I think for me personally I will say number one I’ve been in this job now for I think nearly three months I’ve been a board member for the last three and a half years so I come in with a lot of context and I’ve inherited a very successful organization we have like at least doubled the amount of funds that we have for member projects on a yearly basis to the point that you know we’re getting to the the tens of millions now most likely for this year but what I want to see is more projects spending so really over the course of this year and next I want to really encourage projects to think about how they can use money as an explicit kind of incentive for people to contribute to projects maybe to even bring other more kind of diverse perspectives into their project from design from copywriting from hey even you know marketers and so on this community is particularly special I think because there are many people with a set of skills that don’t exist more broadly in open source and then the other thing is that we’re just kind of looking at our place in the universe so like five years ago there were very few maintainers that were doing things to sustain their work financially and if they were they were either under the banner of bigger kind of organizations or foundations and now we kind of I don’t want to say democratized too much but effectively democratized to a degree the ways in which you can financially kind of support your open source project and really what we need to do is kind of take a look like five years in where does open source collective fit into that picture are we there to incubate projects that come in with very little in terms of understanding where they are with governance and how they want to kind of build their project or do we need to come in at the other end where projects are so big that they’ve actually kind of gone through all that thinking and really what they want is kind of a hands-off kind of partner to be able to handle a lot of the kind of legal accounting tax and finance kind of issues but yeah I haven’t decided which of the the realms we’re in just yet I mean experience has taken us from very small projects and then we’re kind of building up so I imagine that might be the direction that we go in but there’s some scope for the other side there as well so ben thank you again very very much and I hope you have a most wonderful day there that’s great thank you very much ben has an interesting insight into what the future of open source looks like especially from a legal a financial and a sustainability point I want to take a moment today while we have just a couple of minutes remaining in this morning session and again sorry for the technical difficulties there just to talk about what’s on tap for today immediately following this conversation there’s going to be a a discussion on a beginner’s guide to using mautic this is going to be something that’s going to be covering not only basics but getting into just getting your hands right into the meat of things there so I strongly recommend that if you’re really really technical and you’ve been wondering a little bit about how emails work especially within amazon aws ses join us over in room three in this morning there’s actually a couple of other sessions that I am personally looking forward to we’re going to have ben back here ben is going to be appearing at 1500 hours that ctc time and he’s going to be just talking about open source sustainability of the commons as an entire community as opposed to just mautic as its own community there that’s something that’s going to be really really fascinating and definitely don’t don’t miss the meet up the the mavic on keynote that’s going to be taking place at 1800 hours so I invite you back there’s some wonderful something on lead scoring taking place later on there’s also something that’s going to be discussing frameworks how you go about structuring everything and separately another conversation just about how to get your reporting out of mautic and into metabase a number of people are using external systems to read into intimatic and produce better reports than you can actually do from within magic and i’d like to also make sure that everybody understands there is an entirely separate room which is the international room where today there’s going to be presentations that are being done in german I believe brazilian as well portuguese as well for our brazilian and portuguese of portuguese guests so feel free to jump over into the international room and the last room I want to mention as we’re just a couple of minutes away from a countdown here getting about five minutes into the sessions is our community council panel and I just want to draw attention to this is an annual event where we have a number of people who participate specifically in the leadership roles in the our community and what I want to do is I want to invite you all to submit questions to this group so please send any types of questions they can be anonymous if you want to or you can attach your name to them I’m going to ask you to send those questions to me at my own email address i’ll be monitoring it and i’ll be sure to as the moderator to ask those questions of the group now the the mod the mounted community council panel is going to be starting at 1300 hours that is ctc time and when you have any kind of questions that you want to ask of the group please send them to me my email address is so please go ahead and get those questions in there we’d love to have you.

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