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Open product, open company
Farhan Attamimi, Ryan Blunden, Francis Schmaltz
2018-10-01T00:00-07:00
blog
open-product-open-company
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Open product, open company

As part of open-sourcing the core of Sourcegraph, we are also building and growing Sourcegraph in the open as an open product and (soon) open company. We're kicking this off by open-sourcing sourcegraph/about, which holds product- and company-related docs for Sourcegraph.

Here's how we define these terms:

Open product

This means the product roadmap is public and open for input.

You might not realize it, but the products you use every day are not just open source; they are also open products. Products like Kubernetes and Visual Studio Code do all their product planning in the open. They get useful input from the community and make it easy to integrate and rely on their products.

Open company

This means that principles, strategies, and processes for internal company functions are publicly documented, including for recruiting, marketing, pricing, and sales—not just engineering and product.

Being an open company is important because being an open product isn't enough to gain the trust of developers. You need to do the same for other important parts of the company that affect the product, the open-source project, and the users. See GitLab's pricing strategy in their public handbook for a great example of this.

Open company doesn't mean that everything is public; only principles, strategies, and processes related to our internal functions. We're proud to be sharing more about how we run Sourcegraph Inc!

How Sourcegraph is becoming an open product and open company

Sourcegraph's product roadmap now lives in the projects/ dir in sourcegraph/about](https://github.com/sourcegraph/about/tree/master/projects). Starting now, the first step in planning a feature is to pre-write the blog post that will announce it (and then the goal is to "make the blog post true" by actually building it). You'll see a lot more projects added to the roadmap. We look forward to your feedback!

On the open company front, we published sourcegraph/careers and will be publishing more soon. (We're not quite there yet on being an "open company"—it takes work!) Our Sourcegraph master plan has always been public.