DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for I'm Vivek Saraswat, investor in Dev Tools + Infra startups @ Mayfield and former product leader @ Docker/VMware/AWS. AMA!

I'm Vivek Saraswat, investor in Dev Tools + Infra startups @ Mayfield and former product leader @ Docker/VMware/AWS. AMA!

vsaraswat profile image Vivek Saraswat ・1 min read

Hi folks--Vivek Saraswat here from Mayfield. I invest in early stage infrastructure and product development tools startups, including partnering at the Series A with the amazing team at DEV (hi @ben @jess @peter 👋). Prior to investing, I managed the primary enterprise product at Docker, launched the Storage for Cloud Native Apps product initiative at VMware, and worked on EBS Snapshots at Amazon Web Services.

In talking with many founders and developers, I've found people often have questions around areas like open-source commercialization, monetizing dev tools, enterprise product and go-to-market strategy, and early-stage company building. Recently I joined @the_prion on Software Engineering Daily where we discussed topics like what to consider when building an infrastructure startup, the evolution of the cloud native ecosystem, and strategies for bottoms-up adoption and product-led go-to-market. I also previously gave a talk at the Open Core Summit organized by @asynchio on commercial open-source product strategy, architecture and teams.

Since many of us are holed up remotely right now, I'm here to answer any questions you might have around these topics or any others--I'm also a singer/guitarist, video/tabletop gamer, and sci-fi/fantasy fan.

AMA! (and follow me on Twitter at @theVSaraswat for more on these topics)

Discussion (53)

pic
Editor guide
Collapse
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

First of all, great episode Vivek....

play pause Software Engineering Daily

(Coming at some point to DEV: Tagging users in industry podcast appearances they've made)

Anyway, what would your advice entrepreneurs in identifying trends in software adoption and validating ideas before devoting to projects which might not have a realistic path to adoption?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hey Ben, sounds like a great feature to build =P

Really good question. I think there's two potential pieces of advice I can give here:

  • Market validation. Most people build first and then validate with users--the best entrepreneurs start by understanding market needs first. Identify the prototypical user and buyer who you think would most benefit from the project you are considering developing, and start surveying them on whether they actually would in fact use your project. There are tons of slack/discord channels, community forums, github repos, etc. where you can seek out users who have interests in specifics areas. From a commercial standpoint, reach out to mid-level leaders at companies to see if what you are building meets a strong pain point. This kind of need-finding can save you a lot of headache (and possible carpal tunnel syndrome) of building something nobody wants. If you haven't yet found that need, keep iterating.
  • Rapid prototyping and feedback. Once you have an idea of where to point the ship, build a rough MVP of the product, lock down some early users, and quickly get feedback from them on as to whether you are headed in the right direction. Course correct as necessary. And importantly, don't just talk to the people who use your product, talk to the people who chose NOT to use your product. You may not choose to prioritize everyone's input, but it is important to understand fundamentally what is working and what is not.
Collapse
recurs1v0 profile image
EPPR

Hey Vivek, I'm here to ask non-tech questions.

:) Here it goes

Collapse
recurs1v0 profile image
EPPR

Favorite TV Show when you were a kid?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

I'm dating myself here, but the Super Mario Bros Super Show, and especially the days they had Legend of Zelda. "Well Excuuuuse me Princess!"

I'm also a big anime fan, so I grew up on a steady diet of stuff like Gundam Wing, Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Robotech/Macross, Pokemon, Tekkaman Blade, etc.

Collapse
recurs1v0 profile image
EPPR

First computer?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Macintosh II. I was all Macs growing up, then started building my own PCs in high school and college, and then switched back to Macs somewhere in my late-20s.

Collapse
recurs1v0 profile image
EPPR

Favorite movie in the last year?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

This is tough...trying to avoid covid19 wfh recency bias.

I think I'll have to go with Joker. Incredibly dark, fantastically freaky performance by Joaquin Phoenix, and a hauntingly surreal soundtrack.

Runner-up goes to Marriage Story which was IMO underrated. Adam Driver and Scarlet Johansson convincingly portray flawed yet sympathetic characters in what could have been a real story.

Collapse
recurs1v0 profile image
EPPR

Sports

Do you play any?
Do you watch any?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Play: I used to run cross-country and do martial arts (Jeet Kune Do & Eskrima). I had a foot injury awhile ago which more or less stopped that, so now I use the gym instead (elliptical, weight training, etc.).

Watch: Tennis and College Football (Go Stanford Cardinal!) Though tbh not as much time as I used to have.

Collapse
juliannatetreault profile image
Julianna Tetreault

Hi Vivek!

I have two questions for you:

  • What advice would you give to someone looking to move into a product manager role?
  • What would you consider to be some red flags for you when deciding to invest in an early-stage company?
Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Julianna!

  • Glad to see you're interested in PM! I believe the single most important trait a potential product manager can develop is empathy. The PM is the voice of the customer, the bridge to non-technical teams (sales/marketing/ops etc.), and the closest partner to engineering. This requires that a product manager be really, really good at putting themselves in another person's shoes and understanding what drives them. There are several good resources on building empathy as a PM--I have a few links in an article I wrote on building empathy in enterprise product last year. Aside from that, I would spend time working with PMs, and importantly with other related orgs like sales and marketing to understand how each of them connect within the business, as PMs often need to coordinate and fit everything together.

  • There's a definitely a lot that goes into evaluating and early stage company...I wrote up a framework of my evaluation here in case you'd like more details. There's very few straight up red flags, but here are some:
    1) The CEO lies about anything and it comes up later in diligence. This one should be obvious, but you'd be surprised, it happens.
    2) The CEO doesn't know key metrics of the business (revenues, burn rate, etc.). This is part of the fundraise process and should be expected.
    3) The CEO is seriously trying to decide between raising an early stage round or selling the company. This suggests they aren't serious about building a large-scale business.
    4) The CEO is rude or dismissive to members of the Mayfield staff. It's totally fine if folks are nervous or buttoned up. That's ok. But People-First is one of our principles and I won't tolerate that kind of behavior.

Collapse
juliannatetreault profile image
Julianna Tetreault

Thanks so much for the thorough response, Vivek! I found your articles insightful and was particularly interested in the live-fire exercises that you mentioned—empathizing with the customer is incredibly underrated.

Collapse
joshpuetz profile image
Josh Puetz

Hi Vivek! As an investor what impacts do you see the current COVID-19 crisis having on the startup scene?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Josh! The short answer is that everyone is hurting from the COVID-19 crisis right now. This is an unprecedented event in recent global history. The long answer is that for the startup it really depends on what stage (early stage vs. late stage) what industry (enterprise vs. consumer) and what sales motion (top-down vs. bottoms-up). I'll try to hit each of these briefly:

  • Earlier stage startups can more easily weather the storm the right now as they can keep their team size nimble, and are usually not reliant on customer revenues, to keep burn rates low. Late stage startups that have already built large teams are usually reliant on customer revenues and thus may be in a more precarious position.

  • Enterprise startups with a top-down sales motion used to rely a lot more on selling in person which is now much more difficult. What was once done over handshakes with C-suite and VP leaders must now be done over Zoom. Startups with a bottoms-up sales motions are having an easier time by nature of their design. Consumer startups are seeing impacts from changes in spending patterns as well (look at the travel, hospitality, and on-demand industries) but remains to be seen what long term effects on other areas will be.

  • As an early stage investor, I am certainly still talking to new companies (over Zoom of course...) as we are always thinking with a long-term lens. But simultaneously we are working closely with our portfolio companies to help them get through the crisis.

Collapse
darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

Hi Vivek,

Besides developing, I'm also interested in markets, investing, stocks, strategies and everything that is related to companies. How would you advice to start out if there is only a relatively small amount of money to invest (say <10.000€) and I want to learn how to invest in companies or get to know when there is an opportunity to invest?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Robin!

Well, public and private investing are very different beasts. For what it's worth, when it comes to public markets, I prefer things like index funds, mutual funds, ETFs etc, and not individual stocks.

That said, one option to consider is looking at platforms that do fractional shares of investment. This allows you to study the market and experiment without committing larger amounts of capital.

Collapse
darksmile92 profile image
Robin Kretzschmar

Hi Vivek, thanks for your answer. I know this is not a topic that can be discussed in a couple of sentences here but I appreciate you taking the time to reply ☺️

Fractional shares sounds like a good idea to start, I did an investment at such a platform years ago (MicroVentures) but the problem was the language barrier. As English is not my native language, it can be hard to understand all the documents in the beginning. I'll take that and search for a German platform to get familiar with the topic 👍

Collapse
jacobherrington profile image
Jacob Herrington (he/him) • Edited

Hey Vivek!

I listened to your interview and really enjoyed it, thanks for sharing.

Two questions:

1) How did you transition from managing tech products to investing? Any key transformative periods or was it a gradual change? Did you receive any traditional education regarding early-stage investing or did you learn as you went? (I'm reading your post from July about a year in VC, but any other thoughts would be awesome!)

2) Favorite edition and/or class in D&D (or your preferred tabletop game if you don't play D&D)?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Jacob! Thanks for listening to the interview.

1) I was lucky enough to make the transition because the folks at Mayfield gave me an incredible opportunity. My biggest realization as a product manager was that I liked helping other people build things, and venture gave me the chance to do that at scale by working with multiple companies and helping their teams grow. During my time at VMware and Docker I spent time helping VCs with due diligence around the cloud-native ecosystem, and at Stanford I took one class which walked through mechanics of the venture industry (e.g. term sheets, investments, etc.). Most of my education and past experience was focused on operating life however, and much of the venture side was learned on the job.

2) I've been playing D&D since 2nd edition. My favorite version is definitely 5E. I think it strikes the right balance between simplicity, game balance, and freedom of expression. In terms of favorite class, I really like what they've done with the Paladin in 5E. No longer tied purely to Lawful Good, the smiting mechanic is awesome, and the subclasses have a lot of interesting flavor variances (Oath of Ancients being my personal favorite).

Collapse
jacobherrington profile image
Jacob Herrington (he/him)

Thanks for getting back to me! Seems like you've got a super interesting path.

I've only played 5e, but I love the simplicity and focus on storytelling. May the dice gods favor you. :)

Collapse
molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her)

When a company develops a widely adopted and used open-source tool (anything from a Ruby gem to a framework such as DEV) what advice do you give them when they are looking to monetize it? Is there a "usual" path you like to take or is it very dependant on the technology and what it does?

Thanks for taking the time to do this amongst all the chaos!!!

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Molly! Commercializing an open-source tool is definitely a hotly debated topic with lots of opinions =). There isn't a "usual" path per se because it does depend a lot on the technology. It also depends on whether the team wants to build venture-backed, high-growth business (e.g. Hashicorp, Elastic, Confluent), or a more bootstrapped, long-scale model (e.g. JetBrains).

That said, I do have some opinions on this from my past experiences, some of which I elaborated on in my presentation at the Open Core Summit on "Putting the Product in Product-Led GTM". I'll summarize some of my thoughts below:

  • Develop a "critical path" value proposition, for your community user, effectively one that is so important that it gets the open-source adopted into the core workflows and architecture, and "designed-in" as the process of record for every team in both communities and enterprises alike.
  • Understand what your enterprise buyer actually values (usually some combination of piece-of-mind, collaboration, and performance). Influence them to provide the enterprise version of your product as a service to their users as an upsell.
  • Make the upsell as frictionless as possible--use an inside sales process that takes advantage of the bottoms-up nature of your product, and architecturally either use hosted SaaS or don't force your customers to swap out binaries to upgrade.
  • Create a balanced product/engineering team culture. Don't put a firewall between your community and commercial teams; your product and engineering folks should have empathy for both sets of users and buyers.
Collapse
rhymes profile image
rhymes

Hi Vivek, thanks for doing this!

The first time I heard about what an "open source company" was, it was ages ago with Canonical, and thought "cool, didn't know one could make a company on top of opensource!", so my question is: what are the most exemplary successful open source companies? What did they do right or better than others?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi rhymes! Really great question. I would be remiss if I didn't point out @asynchio 's excellent spreadsheet of Commercial Open-Source companies with successful exits. If you look at these companies as well as the largest private COSS companies today, I believe there are a few key elements they have all gotten right:

  • Critical path value propositions: Each of these companies has an open-source project which is fundamentally critical to their core users. Examples include Red Hat (Linux -- operating system), Elastic (ELK -- logging), Github (Git -- source code version control), Hashicorp (Vault -- secrets management, Terraform -- infrastructure provisioning), Confluent (Kafka -- event streaming). And importantly, these are things that their enterprise buyers who support those users cannot afford NOT to pay for.
  • Ecosystem: Each of these players has built a thriving ecosystem which includes integrations across numerous open-source tools, commercial vendors, and cloud providers. This is crucial. The ecosystem both increases cooperation and helps provide a moat against other players. To become a large scale company, you simply cannot be an island.
  • GTM: This is more for the newer private companies--the successful ones were all built with a primarily inside sales process, as opposed to a top-down direct sales process. This is more capital efficient and takes advantage of the bottoms-up nature of open-source. The large public companies have both inside and direct sales teams because they can afford to, but startups have to focus.
Collapse
rhymes profile image
rhymes

Thank you for the thorough answer. I'll definitely take a look at the spreadsheet 🙂

Collapse
andy profile image
Andy Zhao (he/him)

What was your first breakthrough into the industry, and do you feel like the lessons from that apply today?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hmm..technically my first software job was a high school internship building Flash demos for an edtech startup. The lesson learned there was don't build stuff in Flash =P

More seriously, my first real breakthrough was as a Product Manager at Amazon Web Services for EBS Snapshots. Lessons learned from AWS:

  • Creating a vision: When you want to introduce a product at Amazon, you go through a process called "Looking Backwards"--basically, what does this product look like at at scale, and then working back to the minimum viable product from there. The importance of this is understanding what it takes to build something big, and creating a process of how to get there.
  • Being extremely customer focused. Everything in Amazon is about the customer, having a deep understanding of that customer, and what it takes to make that customer successful. It's stunning to me how many folks at startups and large companies alike don't understand or care about their users and customers, and I heavily respect the ones that actually do.
  • Metrics: Part of Amazon's success is in using metrics very effectively to see what's moving the business forward. Track the things that matter, and put KPIs for your success. Beware of vanity metrics that make you feel good and look up and to the right, but don't actually contribute to your business success.
Collapse
lbeul profile image
Louis

Hey Vivek, I'm fascinated by your story! What is your advice for young people who're just starting off their career in tech? Niche down into on specific domain (namely Tech, Design, Product) and focus on that or going as broad as possible?

For example, right after school I did an apprenticeship in a German bank. Right after that, I went back to school to get my A levels for being able to study computer science. Thanks to my apprenticeship, I'm good at valuating ideas and all that product/management stuff, but I'm just a mediocre developer atm. I'm going to got the university this summer and I don't really know what to focus on - either side hustle hard, build my own startup and treat my university half-hearted or focus completely on university and cs skills.

What would you do?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Louis! I subscribe to the T-shaped Skills theory of development. Basically, the idea is to develop deep base in a specific area, while broadening your skillsets in related areas to augment this base. I also believe in having a growth-oriented mindset meaning that one's traits are not set and can improve through effort and persistence. I don't know the European system as well but all can I say is that I didn't treat my university studies half-heartedly; I focused on them hard, and then when I started working, I focused on that hard as well. If you have a burning startup idea that really excites you and you want to build it, that's one thing. But there is something to be said about developing the skill sets that will help make that dream a reality.

Collapse
th3n00bc0d3r profile image
Muhammad

Hello Vivek,

Good to have you around, what I would like to ask is...

Mostly what I have observed before the innovation years started, I am talking like in the 90s and following, there was a very thin timeframe in which innovation, as its meaning says, did play apart but what I saw before and now is the same. All goals converge to just one point whether a startup or an open-source or similar and that goal is getting the most MONEY OUT IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE..

Now money was supposed to solve problems and give a peaceful route to our lives but yet it has brought more problems that it was supposed to solve. Therefore, the innovation and the growth that we as a human race was supposed to be taking, that leap of growth, I see it exponentially fading away.
with more poverty, famine and disease (highlighting COVID-19).

To summarize, all one wants is to sell and nothing else, kind of seems pointless and leading towards our own extinction.

What are your thoughts about it?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Muhammad--I agree with you that if all someone wants is to sell and nothing else, that is rather pointless indeed. I don't look for founders who are in it only for the money, I am looking for people who also want to make a real impact by building large-scale companies. In venture people often talk about "missionary" versus "mercenary" i.e. are you motivated by money or a mission? I think it is possible to do both--you can have an impact while being commercially successful at the same time. That is why cultivating values and culture are so important when building your startup, or anything else for that matter.

Collapse
th3n00bc0d3r profile image
Muhammad

Well as far as my experience goes, being at CollissionConf in New Orleans and exhibiting there as well. I might have to say that I disagree with you based on query for venture people. All I see is pure inclination towards profit in terms of financial gains.

Ex. I created a Geo Tagging application for locating blood donors in your area, that was way back on 2016 but I did got appreciated while spending all the money and time on it but didn't get anyone interested because all they wanted was ways to earn money from it and no one cared if it could actually be used to save human lives.

What I see is a total shift of priorities of the human race and maybe that's why we have the COVID-19. Only if people thought about well being more than money.

Collapse
michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Hey Vivek! What was it like working at Docker in their earlier stages?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Michael! My early days working at Docker were awesome. Talented team, rapid iteration on the product, and a close relationship with customers.

Seeing internal hyper-growth firsthand is an experience. Internally, we went from dozens to hundreds quickly. When that happens, old processes stop working, and you have to swiftly put new ones into place. If you are thinking about being a founder or joining a high growth startup, make sure you have a tolerance for this kind of chaos. But, this is a unique experience and skillset that you can take with you anywhere.

The juxtaposition of communities was amazing too . At DockerCon 2016 I gave a keynote in front of an audience of several thousand (and thousands more over the livestream) while wearing an absolutely ridiculous Burning Man-esque getup--the videos are probably still somewhere on youtube. The next day, I was presenting the roadmap to our prominent enterprise customers while wearing far more dreary business casual attire. All part of the experience.

Collapse
michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington (he/him)

Wow, moving from dozens to hundreds of coworkers was probably quite a shock!

I attended DockerCon 2017 in Austin and it was amazing — such a good time. I'm trying to dig up your keynote on YouTube, but am having no luck. However, I did find this:

https://p78.f0.n0.cdn.getcloudapp.com/items/8LuJ6J06/Image%202020-03-21%20at%208.04.48%20AM.png?v=729def7bb8e78d01c62f7d8effd39cd9<br>

Burning Man-esque getup indeed, haha! 😁

Collapse
muhammadwasif profile image
Muhammad Wasif • Edited

Which type of tech startups are going to be next billion dollars startups? Because THE APPS are too much and do you think if someone creates an APP, it may do a million dollar business?
Which domains are going to be next Facebook and Google.
Artificial Intelligence? AR/VR? Quantum Computing? What do you think?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Muhammad! If somebody knows exactly which startups would be the next billion companies, please let me know =). I certainly have my theories, which I outlined in this post from January. To reiterate briefly, they are Cloud Native Day 2 (operations that keep modernized apps aand infra running in a production setting), Developer Augmentation (workflows for product development personnel that augment repetitive tasks, provide actionable insights for executives, and facilitate remote collaboration) and ML for the Masses (provide infrastructure platforms for machine learning and unlock its potential for non-data scientists).

Collapse
nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor (he/him)

Hi Vivek! Thanks for doing this AMA. What did you like and dislike about working at Amazon?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Nick! Great question. I touched upon some of my thoughts on Amazon in my Software Engineering Daily podcast earlier this week. Will add thoughts here:

  • Likes: Amazon takes its Leadership Principles very seriously. They are actionable, and people do try to live by them. This is something I advise all of my companies to try and do (i.e. make your values actionable on a day to day basis). The company also had a laser sharp focus on customers, which was extremely impressionable for me as an early career PM.
  • Dislikes: At the time, each team worked very independently and coordination was sparse. This allowed individual products to move and release very quickly, but also meant that there wasn't always alignment between products. That may have changed since then, given I left 7 years ago.
Collapse
nickytonline profile image
Nick Taylor (he/him)

Awesome. Thanks for the response!

Collapse
liana profile image
Liana Felt (she/her)

Why did you decide to get into investing?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Liana!

Honestly? I like helping other people build things. As a materials engineer, I built solar cells that powered the infrastructure people used. As an product manager, I helped my team to build devops products that enterprises used to power their organizations. As a venture investor, I get to work with founders to help them build their companies. For a more in-depth answer, check out my post on my philosophy on Being a Servant Investor.

Collapse
atsmith813 profile image
Alex Smith

Hey Vivek, thanks for doing this!

Over the past 5 years, what would you say has surprised you the most about the open-source community?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Alex! I think one thing that surprised me is how quickly open-source became mainstream--the community itself has seen a huge influx of developers from all kinds of backgrounds over the last few years, which I believe is an awesome and needed thing. On the commercial side, open-source has also become the norm as well. It used to be that enterprises were wary of using open-source code and preferred proprietary solutions. That era has long passed, and as a result of that now if you are building an infrastructure or developer-oriented startup, you strongly have to consider why you shouldn't use open-source as your code choice.

Collapse
maestromac profile image
Mac Siri

Thanks for doing this ama Vivek!

What's your opinion on licensing as it relates to commercial open source recently?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Once upon a time, you had only three real license choices when building a commercial open-source business--Apache 2.0, MIT, or GPL. Times have changed, there are a dizzying array of licenses now being introduced into the ecosystem, and the debate has gotten rather heated (witness the Twitter firestorm during the Open Core Summit last fall). There are many who feel that the cloud vendors in particular unfairly benefit from open source code. There are just many who believe that the restrictive licenses will make enterprises less likely to adopt open-source code in their infrastructure for fear of losing control of their code--which is a death knell for any startup looking to build a bottoms-up adoption based commercial go-to-market process.

I don't have a strong ideological opinion about what should or should not be considered "open-source." That said, it is very early to determine which new licenses will be truly successful within the market, and as a founder you need to consider whether to risk your startup's success on this. The safest bet for a startup is probably to use a tried-and-true tested license (e.g. Apache 2.0 or GPL) and then build a proprietary layer on top (e.g. OpenCore, managed SaaS, etc.). However, if one of the newer licenses ends up having the right checks and balances to be useful for community, startups, and enterprises alike, it may see widespread adoption. Time will tell.

Collapse
devencourt profile image
Brian Bethencourt

Hey Vivek, thanks for doing this. How would you define "open core"?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hey Brian!

IMO, Open Core means that the core platform which the user runs is open-source, and then the vendor offers a proprietary commercial layer wrapping this which the customer can purchase with additional features to augment the functionality of the product (but without necessarily changing the core value proposition of the product). This is usually offered "On-Premises" (the customer downloads the bits and runs in their own environment, whether in the cloud or on their own servers) but it can be run as a "Managed SaaS" (see below)

Contrast to Open Crust, in which the core product itself is proprietary/commercial code, but open source integrations are offered to the product, usually in order to allow facilitate a stronger ecosystem by allowing 3rd party vendors to create these integrations.

Compare and Contrast to Managed SaaS, in which the open-source software is run as a fully managed service by the vendor on behalf of the customer. The service may or may not be Open Core--that is, it may include proprietary features which are not included in the open-source software itself.

Collapse
fdoxyz profile image
Fernando

Hi Vivek! Which feature or product decision on the enterprise product do you think was influenced the most (if any) by the OSS community surrounding Docker in the first few years?

Collapse
vsaraswat profile image
Vivek Saraswat Ask Me Anything

Hi Fernando! Pretty much everything from the open-source community was incorporated into the enterprise product as it was an open-core model. So we were certainly heavily influenced by the community. Key pieces from the OSS included the Docker engine, Swarm/Swarmkit, secrets management, storage volumes, overlay networks, etc. More generally, I think a commercial open-source company cannot be built without balancing the needs of both community and commercial alike.

Collapse
benjaminjprice profile image
Benjamin Price

Hi Vivek,

Do you only invest locally or do you look at opportunities globally?

What makes you decide to take someone’s call and let them pitch you?