Relicensing your open source projects from * to BSL (Business Source License)

As a creator and contributer to open source projects I am often torn as how to license my projects to encourage the greater community to contribute and have creative freedom with a project. However I would still try to ensure that I maintain control over as much of the intellectual property (IP) or business value as possible – especially if this value is what I have in place as a revenue generator and would enable me to continue development of the project.

Sentry – which is a great error logging/monitoring tool – recently evaluated their open source licensing and had some reasonable goals in mind:

  • Anyone should be able to run Sentry for themselves or their business
  • No difference between our cloud service and our open-source product (no open-core model)
  • Minimal limitations on usage of code; as free as possible
  • Protection from other companies selling our work

Due to the weight on the last point, Sentry decided to change their license from BSD-3/Apache-2.0 to BSL. read more

Plaid

Plaid is a company in the financial technology, or more commonly known as the “fintech” space, which was founded in 2013, pivoted sometime in 2014 and was purchased by Visa in January 2020 for $5.3 billion dollars.

Plaid was founded by two entrepreneurs who set out to develop a consumer app in the budgeting and account reconciliation field. A mobile or app-based version of Quicken or Intuits Quick Books where users could provide their credit cards and bank account and the interface would allow them to get some insights into their spending habits and create budgets and reports to better manage their personal finances. The startup entered and won a prestigious grand prize award during a TechCrunch Disrupt hackathon in New York in 2013 with their application which at that time was called “Rambler”. During the development process the founders recognized that one of the biggest challenges to building “Rambler” was the bank connectivity component – it was time consuming and resource intensive to develop a solution which connected to each financial institution. The duo wanted their application to connect to the majority of US banks and this required writing code which would need to securely connect and consume the banks exposed API’s for retrieving account information, transaction reports and transaction details. This development exercise was required for each new financial institution the company wanted to include in their app. read more

King Kullen

It’s a relevant and intriguing story of how one employee at Kroger, Michael Kullen, wrote a 6 page letter to a Kroger VP, encouraging them to consider a different business model. He was not taken seriously, resigned from Kroger and opened his own grocery chain called King Kullen. It is considered Americas First Supermarket due to it having separate departments; self-service; discount pricing; chain marketing; and volume dealing. In 2007 King Kullen had revenues of $800 million and operates 32 stores in New York state.

Dee Hock (Visa) – Quote

I like this quote from the founder and CEO of Visa. I believe “thinking out of the box” is a challenge for many of us when your mind is fulled with preconceived notions and ideas. I am also reasonably convinced there is strong correlation between the longer you continue to use and believe the existing ideas, the harder it is to get them out …

The Odebrecht Group: Ethical Insight

Here is a paper I wrote (with 3 colleagues) on the graft and fraud within The Odebrecht Group.

December 11, 2018

Executive Summary

The Odebrecht Group, established in 1944, was once a flourishing family run business that grew into a $40 billion conglomerate. The company operates within the construction and engineering industry through the development of infrastructure and energy projects. During a money laundering investigation in 2015, The Odebrecht Group was found to be a key company at the center of one of the largest bribery and corruption scandals in the world. The company admitted to using deceitful tactics to gain business around the globe. These tactics proved not only to be contradictory to the company’s guiding principles, but also against the law in many countries. Since this unethical behavior came to light, the company has faced many financial and reputational repercussions. However, The Odebrecht Group is currently making strides to better its compliance programs and leadership. To further these efforts, the company should establish practices to improve the company’s overall ethical culture, enhance ethical leadership commitment and build upon compliance monitoring structures. read more