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Todd Mancini is Making Waves by Helping Make Open Source Software Sustainable
By Julie Lam
Welcome back to another episode of the “Perfect Pitch Show” where Brandon Burns, Head of Community – Runway Virtual, interviews small business founders / entrepreneurs about the secret sauce to their successful start-up journey.
On today’s episode we are excited to introduce you to Todd Mancini, the Founder and CEO of Lyfevest. Lyfevest is committed to making open source software (OSS) a sustainable practise. OSS is software created by dedicated volunteers and offered to the public at no charge. In the current age, most companies utilise OSS. However, when there are issues these enterprise developers often must turn to vendors for assistance. Even then, they may struggle to resolve the problem. Lyfevest bypasses these sorts of issues by connecting enterprise developers who use OSS to the contributors of those OSS. The enterprise developers can get the assistance they need, whilst OSS contributors receive compensation for their support.
A Day In the Life
When asked about what a typical day in Todd’s life is like, he describes it often involves ‘wearing many hats’. His background is in software engineering, so his efforts are primarily focused on product design, coding and implementation, and marketing. While Todd’s duties also involve talking to investors, his business partner takes on the bulk of responsibility in this area.
Lyfevest generates revenue with a subscription-based model, in which Enterprise Developers are charged a flat fee on either a monthly, semi-annually or annual basis. Todd speaks highly of this model, highlighting that its ability to generate recurring revenue is an attractive appeal for investors. He advises those who may be considering this model to avoid annual subscriptions only. Instead, he recommends offering a monthly subscription so that data on renewal rates can be ascertained sooner.
Todd describes Lyfevest as a two-sided marketplace. One of the biggest challenges of this model is the difficulty of connecting enterprise developers to open source developers. OSS developers range in the millions and are scattered across the endlessly wide world of the web. He describes that marketing has been particularly tricky in that it has been a real challenge trying to reach out and involving these open source developers.
Todd offers some word of advice to anyone who may also be encountering difficulty with their marketing strategy: express the unique value proposition of the product or service succinctly. Focus on the core of what makes your product/service great and allow that to be the principal message that engages the audience.
The idea for Lyfevest began when Todd identified a need in the enterprise developer and OSS marketplace. Once he confirmed his assumptions by reaching out to community members, he proceeded to develop a solution. Todd promptly discussed his idea with the community and received scathing feedback. He repeated this period of research and review for 9 months before Lyfevest as it is today was created. Todd describes that this phase provided invaluable information and recommends all to be open to both positive and negative feedback.
Todd understands that 9 months may be considered a long period for research and development. It may not be financially feasible for others. He admits that in the early stages of development his income was supplemented with his day job. Todd still questions whether his choice is a generally wise move, but he soon left his job in order to focus on Lyfevest. Todd’s describes that his actions was motivated by the joy and satisfaction he felt working on Lyfevest, which was coupled with a growing frustration of having to devote so much of his time to his day job. Todd is proud of his journey so far and hasn’t looked back.
Todd encourages anyone who has contributed to the open source space in any way, shape or form to reach out and become a part of the Lyfevest network. It’s free and simple. Just visit lyfevest.io and connect via a github account.
You can contact Todd using the following links: