Description:We dig into the fascinating world of open source platform development with Nikhil Nandagopal, one of the founders of Appsmith, in this episode of the Hacking Open Source Business podcast, hosted by Avi Press and Matt Yonkovit. Learn how Appsmith's open core approach allows developers to create powerful applications while addressing the needs of managers and CXOs. Dive into their strategy for balancing core features, user feedback, and value-added features, prioritizing data security over managed hosting. Find out how Appsmith's journey has evolved with user understanding and how open source offers better security, auditing, and self-hosting capabilities. Join us as we discuss developer retention, networking insights, and the importance of building a solid open-source community before monetizing. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from the experiences of a successful open source founder! Some of the things you will uncover in this episode: 1. Appsmith uses an open core approach, focusing on features developers care about vs. features managers and CXOs care about. 2. Developer retention is a core metric for Appsmith, with a focus on building the open-source community before monetizing. 3. Open source offers better security, auditing, and self-hosting capabilities for Appsmith users. 4. Appsmith addresses the challenge of limited engineering bandwidth for internal tools and aims to make them as good as the best SaaS software. 5. The platform's direction evolved with user understanding, and data-critical needs influenced the open-source decision. 6. Appsmith doesn't de-emphasize code; it reuses existing building blocks in low/no-code environments. 7. Appsmith is an open-source low-code framework focused on developers, aiming to make the platform extensible and community-driven. 8. Networking is highly valuable for personal growth, learning, and connecting with like-minded individuals. 9. Appsmith has been closely collaborating with early customers to build their enterprise offering, focusing on self-serve features. 10, Many users embed Appsmith in their existing React projects, leading to a better overall experience.
In this episode:
- 00:00:00 Get to Know Nikhil Nandagopal, Founder Appsmith: Rapid Fire Questions
- 00:09:10 Introduction to Appsmith
- 00:10:55 In a Low or No Code Environment Does Open Source Matter?
- 00:13:32 Deciding to Open Source or Not
- 00:15:53 Deciding on Which Features Should be Open Core
- 00:22:16 Customers Paying for Your Engineering Team to Focus on Features
- 00:23:51 What Metrics Should Open Source Companies Focus on Until their Product is Ready?
- 00:27:37 Turning Down Short Term Revenue to Focus on Building the Open Source Community
- 00:31:50 Measuring Developer Retention
- 00:34:33 Talking Open Source Telemetry or Call-Home Functionality: Is it Worth Trying?
- 00:39:01 Choosing the Right Messaging and Positioning for Your Open Source Software
- 00:43:25 Learning from the Early Days of Your First Commercial Open Source Offering
- 00:45:39 Time Traveling Founder Advice: Network More Early on!
- 00:50:07 Final Thoughts: