The Dead Pool Pledge

I love PaaS. Recently I’ve gone to great lengths to figure out a way to build applications using ONLY SaaS and PaaS platforms. I managed this with a mix of wercker, github, and pivotal web services.

But with the commitment to any third-party platform, comes a certain kind of fear.

I’m a believer in open source. And I’m ALSO a believer in commercial software. As much as I believe in the rights and freedoms of the user, I also value the rights and freedoms of the developer - to license his or her work in the way that they see fit.

So here’s what I’m suggesting: a “Dead Pool Pledge”.

Add this github account to your private repositories as a collaborator. You can keep those accounts private, and your source code licensed under whatever terms you feel is appropriate, as long as your business/project/coop is a going concern.

But the day that your company ends up in the Crunchbase deadpool, my bot will republish your source code under ASLv2. Seem fair?

I know that if Wercker, and others adopted this, I would sleep a little better at night.


Okay, maybe we should try and contact you first - to find out if you’re attempting to sell off those assets to a company who has a legitimate intent to continue business operations.

And yes, this whole thing probably ought to have some sort of contract in place - maybe something that the SFLC or the EFF could draft up.



Most of my projects fall within a few main themes:


Browser Things

Social Infrastructure


  • Build packs for Cloud Foundry and steps for Wercker.
  • : Haven’t decided what this is yet ;)

Defunct Projects

  • : Like Kickstarter, but 5 years too early. Frozen by the SEC.
  • : Browser plugin for price change notifications. Sold it.
  • : Never miss a conference call or dial a stupid conf ID again.

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the (Static) Web

I’m an early fan of the Baked, Not Fried concept behind static web generators. But somehow, getting all the tools in place to run one myself seemed onerous. A simple apt-get install mysql was always easier than the vaguely-mystical incantations required to get jekyll up and running.

Then again, there was my deep-seated prejudice against Ruby. (See my previous trolling of the ruby community when I accused them of being singlehandedly responsible for Global Warming.)

But with the emergence of Hugo, an elegant static site generator written in #Golang, I’ve been able to get over the line. Or maybe it was simply time that I had a blog again.


Joshua McKenty

I work on both open source and commercial software. I can probably attribute this socialist/capitalist mix to my dual American/Canadian citizenship, but I’m not that fond of introspection.

I am a cofounder of OpenStack.

The longer stories have been told repeatedly, but suffice it to say that some mix of Jesse Andrews, Chris C. Kemp, Devin Carlen, Vishvananda Ishaya, Soo Choi, Andy Smith, Manesh Singh and myself ought to be held responsible for the release of “nova”, while we were all affiliated with the NASA Ames Research Center.

I am the cofounder of Piston Cloud Computing, Inc., the first commercial provider of a supported OpenStack software product.

In prior lives, I worked on the Netscape Browser, and the Flock Browser.

I had a brief stint at Tapulous, right around the time of the Apple iPhone App Store launch.

I also founded BountyUp, Natel Canada and BuyLatr, none of which had terribly notable exits.

Most of my open source work is available online on github.


I currently sit as an elected Gold Member director on the OpenStack Foundation Board of Directors. In that capacity, I am the co-chair of the DefCore committee (along with Rob Hirschfeld). I was also the founding chair of the (now-defunct) Transparency Working Group.

I am an appointed member of the Cloud Foundry Advisory Board.

I am also an appointed member of the Open Contrail Advisory Board.

Social Media

I don’t blog all that often.