MindTouch Makes Technical Documentation A Snap

Company rides open core business model to success

MindTouch is one open source company that has established itself as a leader in its market (enterprise collaboration), open source or not. They are also a great example of how to do open core right. Their MindTouch Core, free and open source edition has literally millions of people using it daily. Their commercially licensed versions likewise have millions of additional users as well. Now with their Technical Communications Suite (TCS), MindTouch wants to make it "mindless" to create web based technical documentation and technical communities.

I had a chance to sit down with Aaron Fulkerson, CEO of MindTouch and find out more about the new TCS as well as how MindTouch is doing. You can listen to that 20 minute conversation below:

The TCS is a great example of a company listening to its customers in how they are using and what they want to do with their product. MindTouch customers were using MindTouch to create online technical documentation and support communities.  So what MindTouch did was pull together all of the tools that their customers were using or would like to have under one suite.

The TCS is not open sourced, it is under the MindTouch commercial license.  But when you purchase the license you do get the source code as well. This is similar to what Sugar is doing with its commercially licensed version as well.  While some may argue that this is still open source, just not free open source, I will leave that to others to bicker over.

The important take away is open or not, MindTouch has created a great platform to build upon. Creating Technical Documentation communities is only one way that many leading companies are using it.

Aaron says that business is booming at MindTouch. While some pundits continue to knock the open core model, Aaron and MindTouch just go about their business day in and day out, building a powerhouse company in the enterprise collaboration space.

Have a listen to the interview. Aaron is an interesting fellow.  Let me know your thoughts and if you have any follow up questions for Aaron. 

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