Mautic to Become an Independent Open Source Project
In 2019, Acquia acquired Mautic, the company behind the open source marketing automation project by the same name.
It's a little known fact that, before Acquia acquired Mautic, it was incubated in Acquia's office. I was also an angel investor in Mautic and an advisor to DB Hurley and Matt Johnston, Mautic's founding team. It's safe to say that I have a personal connection to Mautic, its incubation, growth, and future.
After Acquia acquired Mautic, we appointed Ruth Cheesely as Mautic's Project Lead, streamlined the release model for Mautic, and established a clear governance model. Thanks to these changes and Ruth's leadership, Mautic has grown a lot: Mautic now has 10 times as many contributors compared to three years ago!
Supporting Mautic's growth: The decision to make Mautic independent
And yet, as 2022 drew to a close, I began to realize that in order for Mautic to reach the next level, it needed more resources to grow. I asked myself questions like: "How could we grow Mautic contributions tenfold in the next 5 years?"
As we completed our planning and resource allocation for 2023, I recognized that Acquia was unable to provide sufficient support to Mautic as it continued to grow. Therefore, I believed it would be beneficial to detach Mautic from Acquia's supervision.
A few months ago, I approached Ruth and the Drupal Association with the idea to establish the Drupal Association as an umbrella organization for various open source projects with a shared goal of creating an open source digital experience platform (open source DXP).
Specifically, the idea was to make Mautic the second project to join alongside Drupal and for the Drupal Association to provide financial and logistical support to Mautic in the form of organizing events, managing infrastructure, and more.
While exploring the possibility of transforming the Drupal Association into an umbrella organization for multiple open source DXP projects, Mautic ultimately preferred to become a standalone project.
Some of Mautic's larger contributors believed that independence from Drupal and the Drupal Association was in Mautic's best long-term interest. Key stakeholders in the Mautic community also offered increased financial support for Mautic to become a standalone project. Their enthusiasm and their financial support made a standalone project a viable alternative.
Today's news is that Acquia is supporting that direction. Acquia has agreed to spin out Mautic into becoming a standalone, independent open source project.
A familiar scenario: Drawing from my experience with Drupal
Although the decision to spin out Mautic may seem counterintuitive to those who are not well-versed in open source, it feels natural to me. I strongly believe that open source projects should be independent and community-driven.
When Drupal's expansion began to pick up momentum, I recognized the need to support its growth and helped create the Drupal Association, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing Drupal. When establishing the Drupal Association, I went to great lengths to ensure that Drupal remained independent and that we maintained a level playing field for everyone in the community. This was very important to me not only when establishing the Drupal Association but also later when launching Acquia.
Mautic is in a comparable position to when I co-founded the Drupal Association, with a similar degree of enthusiasm and dedication from its community. And just as I strived to create a level playing field within Drupal, spinning out Mautic from Acquia will help level the playing field for everyone in the Mautic community.
As I reflect on Drupal's journey, it's clear that both the Drupal Association and Acquia have played critical roles in Drupal's success and continue to do so today. However, it's the Drupal project's independence and level playing field that has attracted tens of thousands of individual and organizational contributors. Drupal's level playing field led to a large community, and ultimately, the Drupal community is the real reason behind Drupal's success.
For that reason, I am thrilled for Ruth and the Mautic community as they take the next step forward. I am confident that, a decade from now, we will recognize and appreciate the value of having an independent Mautic supported by a larger community in which Acquia is a key contributor.
Next steps on Mautic becoming an independent open source project
As a next step, Acquia will transfer the Mautic trademarks, domain names, and complete governance to the Open Source Collective on behalf of the standalone Mautic project. Mautic will update its governance structure to shift away from Acquia having unique benefits, such as appointing the Project Lead and holding trademarks and domain names.
To facilitate this transition, Ruth Cheesley, the current Mautic Project Lead, will move from being an Acquia employee to becoming employed by the Mautic project directly, through the Open Source Collective’s employment facility. Additionally, Acquia is making an $80,000 USD donation to help support this transition financially.
Acquia depends on Mautic's success and remains committed to Mautic
Acquia Campaign Studio, our marketing automation product built on the Mautic platform, is the biggest commercial Mautic solution available on the market and one of Acquia's fastest-growing products. It will remain an important part of our product portfolio.
As a company with deep roots in open source, we understand that our long-term success is directly tied to the success of the Mautic project. Even after spinning out Mautic, Acquia remains firmly committed to Mautic's success. We will continue to contribute to Mautic, and as Campaign Studio continues to grow, we plan to increase our contributions.
We also have some exciting product announcements planned for later this year or early next year, which will further enhance our commercial Mautic offering and drive additional growth. I'll discuss those in a later blog post, so stay tuned for more updates!
I'm proud of Acquia's many contributions to Mautic. I'm also proud that Acquia allows Mautic to operate independently. Every open source community has its own unique growth story and journey to sustainability.
The decision to spin out Mautic may not be entirely risk-free, but we strongly believe that the potential benefits outweigh the risks. As a company with significant investment in Mautic, we are committed to its success and will continue to support it.
Similar to how young birds mature and leave their nests, projects and communities can also evolve and outgrow their origins. As someone who has been involved with Mautic from the early days and supported it throughout its journey, I'm excited to see where it goes next.
This post was originally published on Dri.es.