Me: Oh, @penpot sounds good, let me see what it’s like…
*goes on site*
“Login with Google”
Hmm, who funded this?
Venture capital firm (Kaleidos Ventures SL)… how interesting that their site never once mentions an exit even though that’s how venture capitalists make their money…
Don’t you just love “open source?”
(And how it doesn’t mean “free as in freedom?”)
So I just tried @penpot with a very basic task that was frustrating in Krita*: namely, marking up photos of the windows in my new office with measurements to have blinds fitted.
And they are building a really nice tool. Shame about it being venture-capital funded but, idea for interested folks: keep an eye on it and fork if you smell an exit.
* Before anyone asks: I can’t use Inkscape or Gimp as they still don’t display correctly on my HiDPI screen so it’s a no-go from the start.
(and before someone starts saying "but what about [MIT|BSD|Favorite license]?" this is a specific tell that I've noticed. I haven't noticed the same of other licenses)
@aral until today, I thought you're one of the Open Source people. I'm really glad I see you care about "freedom". Followed.
@arh I started out with open source but realised it didn’t mean what I thought I did after a while.
Something I wrote on the subject about six years ago: https://ar.al/notes/the-orwellian-doublethink-of-open-data-when-closed-is-open/
@craigmaloney @aral @penpot I have a bit of the same tingle with Apache/MPL licensed stuff. Somewhat MIT/BSD alone do not trigger it for me, probably because they are old licenses that people use because of their contact with old codebases (or derived from them) or they want some free licenses but have some reservation about the FSF or their licenses, but not necessarily because they are a VC-funded startup.
@aral The eventual impact of VC backing concerns me too, however at least for now this is one of those cases where it's quite positive in relation to the alternatives.
My progression has been: stuck on Adobe with PS > stuck on Win/Mac for Sketch/Affinity > Linux via Figma but proprietary software / file formats and functionality limitations > to now FOSS with no Linux limitations and open file formats.
That said, Akira UX is still in the oven and may just be The Chosen One.
@aral @penpot I think I know what happened here? the "ventures" term misled you, which is understandable but if you take a look at our website kaleidos.net you won't see any VC. Instead you'll see a bunch of free & open source enthusiasts that want to create great free & open source technology. Some useful resources might be https://kaleidos.net/culture https://kaleidos.net/products https://blog.kaleidos.net/Taiga-and-Penpot-lead-our-new-chapter-at-Kaleidos/ and this no-bullshit non-conforming podcast interview https://possiblefutures.tech/posts/interview-with-penpot-ceo-pablo-ruiz-muzquiz-on-open-source-design-and-ethical-funding
One question: do the open source enthusiasts themselves fund the projects (ala a cooperative) or is the funding by external investors? In either case, how do you make money (when/how do you make a return). The thing that worried me most was not seeing a business model.
(With VC, the sale of the company is the return. I’d like to understand yours.)
@aral @penpot Yes to the first question. The parent company, Kaleidos Open Source SL is 100% employee owned and funded and we created Kaleidos Ventures so separate consultancy work (no longer active) from our open source products adventure. We also took some seed capital from business angels (F&F) and Seed VC but we took much care is making sure that 1) we are aligned (incl potential exits) 2) full control is ours.
@aral @penpot VCs exits vary A LOT. the sale of THEIR investment (equity) is the return, but not the company, which they don't control at all in many cases (certainly not ours). This is key. As for business model, we are not in a hurry but we are having very specific internal workshops to address this and share it asap. It seems that addressing enterprise executive buyer-type personas needs for specific premium features might do the trick but we are still working on this.
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