[OpenStack Foundation] Foundation Structure Draft

Chris Aniszczyk zx at twitter.com
Tue Feb 14 17:34:14 UTC 2012

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 1:45 PM, Jonathan Bryce <jonathan at openstack.org>wrote:

> Hello Everyone,
> Now that we've settled on a good baseline of what the mission of the
> Foundation will be, it's time to set down the details of how it will be
> organized to accomplish that mission. Over the past couple of months, we've
> talked to a variety of people involved in other foundations (in leadership
> positions and as developers on specific projects) as well as individuals
> and companies already involved in OpenStack. We now have a basic framework
> for review that we think fits with our mission and community. This
> framework is not exhaustive, and there are several open questions and
> details that we have purposefully not taken a stance on yet, such as the
> details of the Technical Committee. We are working on publishing a list of
> those questions and we'll post those to the list and discuss in the meetup
> next week.
> http://wiki.openstack.org/Governance/Foundation/Structure
> Going forward, we want to have another period of a few weeks where we have
> review and discussion in a variety of forums to revise the concepts that
> need to be part of the structure. At that point, we will be forming a
> Drafting Committee that will take the structure outline and framework and
> turn it into the legal documents needed to form the entity (Articles of
> Organization, Bylaws, Code of Conduct, Membership Agreements, etc). The
> Drafting Committee will primarily consist of lawyers from committed
> companies who can take our philosophical direction and turn it into cold,
> hard legalese. They will work in the open, publishing the draft documents
> they produce and soliciting feedback from the broader community.
> As they complete the revision process and publish the final set of
> documents, there will be a ratification period during which members commit
> to the Foundation under the published documents. The documents will be
> considered ratified when a minimum number of Individual Members have joined
> and minimum level of funding is secured between Strategic Members and
> Corporate Sponsors. At that point, the entity will be set up, funds will be
> collected and a 60-day transition period will start where responsibilities
> are handed over from the existing structure to the new Foundation.
> We've continued to fill out more of these details on the timeline to
> completion, and the schedule has been updated in the wiki on the main
> Foundation page: http://wiki.openstack.org/Governance/Foundation
> Next week we're having a meetup in Sunnyvale on Wednesday at 4:30 PM. You
> can find the details at http://www.meetup.com/openstack/events/51553992/. Looks like we should have a pretty good crowd there. We will also hold
> another set of webinars and will send out the details once those times are
> scheduled. If anyone has any suggestions on a better system for hosting the
> webinars that is cross-platform friendly, we'd love to hear it.

Just a few of comments from previous experiences...

- Ask yourself where small companies, research institutions and academia
would fit in? The line between Individual and Strategic is challenging,
especially when there are fees associated with joining a specific level of
membership. How much should non-profits pay versus small companies versus
large companies? Consider this a barrier to entry for membership, it should
be as easy as possible for someone to join.
- I would recommend that a couple members from the technical community have
an opportunity for a board seat, voted on by the individual members
(technical folks). This is important given this statement: "Board members
are also expected to advocate for the Foundation and the entire OpenStack
community." This has worked well for the Eclipse Foundation as a way to
ensure that committer issues always have a small slice of board meeting
time. While in appearance, this may sound like bringing low-level issues to
the board, it is not always the case. There are cases where strategic
discussion around infrastructure and other things come up.
- Consider having an extra board seat for a relevant outsider (may not be
part of the Openstack community). This is meant to help with
cross-pollination of ideas... for example, you may want someone from the
embedded or auto industry if you were interested in starting to work with
those new verticals.
- Membership driven open source organizations are difficult when it comes
to maintaining the funding funnel. For example, you have a good amount of
members paying membership dues and then a really large member starts going
on a shopping spree and start buying other companies within the membership.
While fantastic for the companies, it can be devastating for the foundation
because these other companies may have been paying a good amount of dues.
Find ways to mitigate this risk by diversifying your revenue stream from
not only membership dues (e.g., conferences or events) or another way.

That's just a brain dump, hope you find it useful. Good luck with the


Chris Aniszczyk | Open Source Manager | Twitter, Inc.
@cra | +1 512 961 6719
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