Keynote: Building an Open Source business around hardware and software


Gordon shares his experience of turning an Open Source project that was becoming hard to support in his free time into a viable business that has supported his full-time work for the last 4 years. He'll include the lessons he's learnt from 3 KickStarter campaigns, preorders on Celery and selling on Tindie, and will discuss some of the difficulties of running a business that combines both Open Source software and hardware.

No pre-existing knowledge needed, although the idea behind the talk might make more sense if people have some idea what a microcontroller/arduino does and can be used for.

People will leave with some ideas on how to turn their prototype into something they can sell and possibly live off – without having to take funding and go the corporate route, or risk losing their house :) I hope they'll gain some enthusiasm to try it themselves.


// Gordon Williams Gordon Williams

Gordon has been working on Espruino for the last 4 years, an Open Source (hardware and software) JavaScript interpreter for microcontrollers. He has run three successful KickStarter campaigns, and has been able to fund himself to work on Espruino full-time. Before that he worked in a variety of areas, from compiler design to 3D graphics, and did a degree in Computer Science at Cambridge university.