[foundation-board] Open Knowledge Foundation board meeting 12/3/14
Helen Turvey (King)
helen.turvey at shuttleworthfoundation.org
Tue Mar 11 08:40:33 UTC 2014
Via Hangout, HT
On 10 March 2014 12:56, Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock at okfn.org> wrote:
> Hi All,
> I have an additional late paper I'd like to present for brief discussion
> at Wednesday's board meeting:
> CKAN Commercial Services - Future Options<https://docs.google.com/a/okfn.org/document/d/1_oayf8RPi5E80oWau7g0pDYoQu_18lFsg1CL3au-ez8/edit?usp=drive_web>
> I emphasize this is for early-stage discussion rather than any kind of
> In addition to the GDocs version (which is commentable) I've also inlined
> below for quick readability.
> CKAN Commercial Services
> Future Options
> This document examines options for the CKAN Commercial Services work going
> forward and, in particular, examines a new legal entity ("spin-out") option.
> Over the last 4 years we have developed a well-defined "Commercial
> Services" unit within the Open Knowledge Foundation providing technology
> services on a commercial (consultancy-style) basis.
> Almost all work has been around our CKAN software - providing support,
> doing custom development, providing managed hosting etc. As such we focus
> here on our CKAN Commercial Services.
> This analysis therefore focuses, from the business and technical side, on
> Average revenues for the this area of our work over the last 2-3 years are
> in the region of £500-800k. Averaged over its lifetime the team has been
> approximately P&L positive (though not by a large amount) but this average
> smoothes out some very significant variation: as with much product-oriented
> open-source consultancy the team have tended to have a "feast and famine"
> cycle with their work driven by particular contracts.
> Lastly, it is worth emphasizing that market in which CKAN exists - the
> "open data portal" market is maturing. This is both positive and negative.
> On the positive side: CKAN is increasingly seen as an established and
> leading option, with an increasingly significant "head-start". In addition
> it is increasingly clear there is a well-defined (and growing) market for
> this type of product. On the negative side there is increasing competition
> to provide solutions, and especially CKAN-based ones (there are now
> multiple other vendors who have successfully done work using CKAN).
> (The "data" market generally is growing with very large numbers of
> start-ups getting funded and growing number of established players. Whilst
> CKAN exists in a specific niche they are strong overlaps - again, this is
> both positive and negative: there is an opportunity for CKAN to sell into
> other market areas, but there is also likely to be increasing competition
> from other tools and products).
> Option Outlines
> The two basic options being considered are:
> Continue as is with a single legal entity. CKAN Commercial Services
> remain legally within Open Knowledge Foundation (continuing to operate as a
> fairly distinct unit).
> 2. New (for-profit) legal entity. We create a new, for-profit, entity.
> Some or all of CKAN Commercial Services are likely part of this new legal
> entity. This new entity is able to take investment and operate in a more
> standard for-profit manner. The new entity would either be wholly or partly
> owned by the Open Knowledge Foundation (or have a specific profit-sharing
> On 5 March 2014 19:51, Laura James <laura.james at okfn.org> wrote:
>> A meeting of the board of directors of the Open Knowledge Foundation
>> will be held at Mozilla, 3rd Floor, 101 St Martin's Lane, Covent Garden,
>> London and online in a Google Hangout (link to be supplied on the day),
>> 18:30 - 20:30 GMT, on Wednesday March 12th 2014.
>> *Note Wednesday not Tuesday! *
>> You will find the board pack attached - there will be a late paper to
>> Please let me know directly before next Wednesday whether you will be
>> attending online, in person or sending apologies.
>> Best regards,
>> * Dr Laura James CEO | skype: laura.james | @LaurieJ
>> <https://twitter.com/LaurieJ> The Open Knowledge Foundation
>> <http://okfn.org/> Empowering through Open Knowledge http://okfn.org/
>> <http://okfn.org/> | @okfn <http://twitter.com/OKFN> | OKF on Facebook
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> * Rufus Pollock Founder and CEO | skype: rufuspollock | @rufuspollock
> <https://twitter.com/rufuspollock> The Open Knowledge Foundation
> <http://okfn.org/> Empowering through Open Knowledge http://okfn.org/
> <http://okfn.org/> | @okfn <http://twitter.com/OKFN> | OKF on Facebook
> <https://www.facebook.com/OKFNetwork> | Blog <http://blog.okfn.org/> |
> Newsletter <http://okfn.org/about/newsletter> *
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Helen Turvey (King)
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