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Webtide: Building an Open Source Lifestyle Business - The Entrepreneurial Open Source Podcast

Thursday, June 24, 2021 - 10:47 by Thabang Mashologu

The latest episode of the Entrepreneurial Open Source Podcast features Webtide, the company behind CometD and a key contributor to Eclipse Jetty.

Even if you haven’t heard of Jetty, you’re probably familiar with some of the products and services powered by it. As one of the world’s most widely deployed web servers and servlet containers, Jetty is used in a wide range of open source and commercial products — including Twitter’s Streaming API, the Google App Engine, and the Eclipse IDE.

Before Jetty was contributed to the Eclipse Foundation, it went from an award-winning project that lead developer Greg Wilkins worked on in his spare time, to a core product of Webtide’s business. Today, Webtide is a developer-owned company with employees around the world. According to Webtide CEO Jesse McConnell, the company’s desire to keep working on open source software played a crucial role in their decision to become a service-based business.

“Ultimately, any of that kind of activity took us away from the core principles of what we wanted to work on, which was Jetty and open source, and things like that. What we ended up doing was hitting upon a model where our product is basically advice,” Jesse said.

This episode sees Jesse and Greg, now CTO of Webtide, discuss the company’s contributions to open source and the Jakarta EE community, their journey towards finding a business model that stayed true to their initial goals, and embracing the “lifestyle company” label. You can listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google.

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We hope you enjoy the episode!