Like many, I’ve been indoctrinated into believing growth and maximizing profits is something we should pursue when starting a business. And some of my most read and shared articles are about how to grow and scale quickly. So I’ve unconsciously been rewarded for promoting this idea, which made me question this idea even less.

As many as well, I’ve also sensed that there was something wrong with this since sometimes enough is more than enough, but I wasn’t able to point to a suitable alternative or to how it could work.

And the more I work on showing how open…

The Encyclopedia Britannica was born In 1768 in Edinburgh to change how people accessed vast amounts of knowledge. And it became the encyclopedia that was in print for the longest time. But 2010 arrived, and it had to close its doors, forever. An institution that endured 244 years wasn’t able to adapt itself to the Internet and Wikipedia’s bulldozing power.

Mass participation is a powerful force, but millions of organizations still haven’t embraced this New Power or have done so in a shallow way. …

A closer look at the status race between developed countries.

Photo credit: Tim Gouw

How can we create a world where no one loses? In the last few months, we’ve seen politicians embrace taboo-measures they would never have considered when we started 2020. Despite years of austerity, major European institutions are now pushing to go in the opposite direction to save our plummeting economy’s demand and supply. Europe and countries worldwide have negotiated huge financial packages to support employment, businesses, and increase the support for a panting healthcare sector.

But all these measures haven’t stopped mass layoffs and thousands of company bankruptcies. The European Commission is discussing new Marshall Plans or Green New Deals…

If you don’t know them, here are some incredible things they’ve achieved:

  • Font Awesome has a 20% market share among those websites which use third-party Font Scripts on their platform, ranking it second place after Google Fonts
  • They were Github’s most popular new open source project in 2012 and are currently in the top 10 projects overall.
  • Font Awesome is on more than 73 million websites. And according to the founder, about 1 in every 3 new website uses Font Awesome.
  • And last but not least, by raising $1,076,960, Font Awesome became the highest funded software project on Kickstarter and…

Whether you are a fan of TED talks or you find them a bit elitist — with over 1 billion views in 2012 from thousands of speakers, talks available in 116 languages and local events in 179 countries — you can’t deny that they’ve actually spread a lot of inspiring ideas that challenge the status quo.

That’s why today I’m going to show you the steps and strategy TED Talks took to grow from a closed conference that catered to a few thousand attendees, to a media powerhouse that took its level of success to another level when they decided…

How could you go from almost no traction and running out of money, to getting millions of visitors to your website?

You could do like Crew accidentally did with Unsplash. Create an open source side project that directs millions of visitors to your paid product.

At the beginning, when they were starting a marketplace for freelancers, Crew couldn’t find a good photo for the homepage of their website. So they hired a photographer (what they found online was either too crappy, or too expensive).

Once they did the photo shoot, they had a ton of leftovers. So they chose 10…

How Adafruit grew over 700% for 3 years in a row making open source hardware.

Today I’m going to show you exactly how Adafruit became one of the fastest growing hardware manufacturers in the US for 3 years in a row. You can copy this EXACT strategy to make money with open source hardware and create a community of contributors who will help you develop and promote your project faster than you ever dreamed of.

Limor Fried, Adafruit’s founder, is a force of nature among open hardware pioneers.

You might have already heard about her, but if you haven’t

  • Adafruit…

Photo by Michael Prewett

Sounds pretty hard, right?

Creating a traditional business is a great struggle. Finding clients, polishing your product, making payroll, finding the right employees, automating processes…Since there are so many moving parts, you’re always wondering — Where do I focus now? Am I doing the right things? What should I be doing next?

And if you are trying to build a social or an open-source business or a cooperative, there are even more moving parts.

Building a business

A traditional entrepreneur has to make money to get and maintain employees. But a social, 0pen or cooperative entrepreneur has added constraints. …

How can you create a best-selling product or service if you can’t put as many invasive ads in front of their eye-balls, spend as much money as you want in PR stunts and must be sustainably successful?

Easy. Make your users successful by growing their skill set, by helping them broadcast their message or by helping them make money.

Most of the time marketers think in attracting loads of attention to their products, hoping to convert a tiny amount of this attention into clients. You might also know this practice described as the marketing funnel.

Most of us are aware of the benefits commercial openness has brought to the world.

25% of the websites use WordPress, 79% of servers run on Linux, and Arduino boards are helping thousands of people around the world start their electronic projects.

But many open projects still license their work under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial license, or an open license that doesn’t allow for commercial re-use. Not to mention all the companies who patent their creations.

If this is your case, you might be preventing commercial re-use in hopes that no one else will profit from your creation. …

Jaime Arredondo

I write about creating communities and scaling openness, regeneration and inclusivity. You can also read me at

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