August 20th, 2011FrOSCon, Bonn, Germany
Walter Heck, Tribily.com
Living the dream: running a FOSS company out of your backpack
Who am I?
Walter Heck, 30 years old Studied IT (for 2 years) Narcoleptic Traveler / hitchhiker / couchsurfer Diver / Hiker / Geek / Environmentalist / Metalhead
Worked in dutch corporate world 7 years Gave away all my stuff, quit my job and started
traveling in 2007
Started my company in 2008 when I ran out of money
Lived in 4 continents in 4 years in Thailand, Malaysia, Costa Rica, Brasil, Alaska and currently Turkey
Started because I didnt want to stop traveling Chose MySQL because I thought it was cool and fit for
Made 2000EU in the first 8 months only (with non-mysql work)
Started consulting through Open Query and found 2 small clients
Started oplexing (shared webhosting for professionals) in 2009, quit it in late 2010 after never making any money
Started tribily (server monitoring as a service) in 2010
Winging it! Just get started! Dont be afraid to say goodbye to people, only work
with skilled people who can work independently
Keeping the goal (traveling while making money) in mind when making decisions
Following my heart, not listening to what others told me from time to time
What worked (2)?
Karma overrules business decisions Build discipline (work whenever I can) Persevere! Have benefits from being virtual: all knowledge
online and transferable
Do things the proper way, not the quick way
Trying to make money out of shared hosting Trying to hold on to something that clearly didnt
Doing work remotely that wasnt suitable for it Elance (ugh!)
Speaking at conferences (ok, its also a lot of fun ;) ) Google SEO (Write content) (25% of all visits) Commenting on related blog posts (20%) Responding to tweets, forums etc. Google Search Alert
Its hard! 1 good employee == 5 lousy ones Techies? Chat interview first! Personal network / references Low income countries
Why FOSS / Openness?
Sharing is caring Code that needs to be open needs to be reusable
Giving back to a community that gives me so much Hope for external contributors
What do we do with/for FOSS
Using: puppet, mysql (MariaDB), zabbix, drupal, debian, php, redmine
Sharing back: http://github.com/tribily Drupal to zabbix module Zabbix templates Zabbix frontend modifications Zabbix server binary patches
Help out on forums, irc, mailing lists
Grow organically, no outside funding Employ people from low income countries with decent
Create time to work on a project that changes the world Move from the mysql business (non-stable income) to the
tribily business (stable, not depending on amount of work)
Settle down in a nice location on the planet with home office
But first: travel more!
Live off the grid but still connected Make enough money to support employees and
Rule the world. >:)
Questions / Feedback ?