Home   Archive   Permalink



What does today's RED announcement of a $500K VC infusion mean?

http://www.red-lang.org/2015/01/dream-big-work-hard-and-make-it-happen.html
    
The investors are ostensibly betting on a huge windfall. If I were going to place that bet I'd want at least a 100 times return on invesment. At least.
    
Does this announcement mean that Red will no longer be open source? Or does it allow the core to be open source but the significant add ons (e.g., the ability to port to Android or iOS) will be closed?
    
I would appreciate any insight from anyone who knows. If nobody knows for sure I would still apprediate any high quality speculation. Interestingly enough, the announcement was met with near silence on stack overflow. Hostile Fork made some comment about money not solving everything and then there was silence; I would think this would be significant news.
    
It's kind of funny... I don't blame Doc for taking the infusion; he's been running on fumes for some time I expect. But, even though I would not yet account myself a coder in rebol/red I am am concerned. I am really looking forward to the red language coming out as something that takes maybe 1/100 the footprint of more 'modern' language development systems yet runs rings around them. At the same time I am bothered at the thought of it being captured by VC games. Maybe I need psychoanalysis! :-)

posted by:   stever       16-Jan-2015/21:11:41-8:00



What I think is, that there is no chance any part of Red would become closed source. The only thing investors might get is the part of the new company being formed. There are various rounds of investments, you can look at Seed investment round around Internet to see, what it means.
    
As for the SO, some guys are working on other projects so they mingt not be so excided, but what I think is - this is a big oportunity for the Red project. And Fork might be right - money itself does not cure all situation. But OTOH we can also say, that open-sourcing R3 is not self healing itself. You always need good coordination, active ppl working on stuff, etc. And there is a chance, that the new company - Fullstack Technologies is going to subcontract some other devs ...
    
From my point of view, no such oportunity happened in the past. Mabe there were Saphirion and Qtask hiring Rebollers, but this is imo different, as FT will concentrate upon the Red itself. We should celebrate, not to be worried :-)

posted by:   -pekr-       16-Jan-2015/23:01:19-8:00



It means that Red has a much better chance at success. Doc hopes to reach 50,000 users by the end of the year. He can hire developers to build Red much more quickly and effectively, and spend money on marketing, plus cover expenses for machines, travel, etc. This is the best news the Rebol community has had since 2012. Doc is totally dedicated to making this succeed. He's a really intelligent guy with a unique solution to important problems which plague the industry. I'm excited to watch what he accomplishes now that he has some money to make things happen.

posted by:   Nick       17-Jan-2015/8:12:17-8:00



I agree with Nick; we should all be pleased by this news.
    
The day Red will replace C/C++ (and its derivatives), is getting closer! :)


posted by:   Jma       17-Jan-2015/8:35:31-8:00



First, thank you for caring enough about Red to post such question.
    
Let me clarify it, the investment money is for the newly formed company that will provide some commercial offers (not disclosing them yet, too early) to Red users. Red is, and remains, a fully open source technology under BSD/BSL licenses. The Android (and later this year iOS) packagers are open source too, under the same licenses.
    
For the relative quietness from most verbose SO chat users, the explanation is pretty simple, I have contacted most of them privately during the last weeks to announce that I was about to close a deal, so they already knew all the details. ;-)
    
"I am really looking forward to the red language coming out as something that takes maybe 1/100 the footprint of more 'modern' language development systems yet runs rings around them."
    
I like how you put it. Right, we want Red to shake up the computing world a bit, and demonstrate that complexity and bloated stacks are not a requirement for modern software.
    
Hope this appease your worries. ;-)
--
Nenad

posted by:   DocKimbel       17-Jan-2015/10:39:56-8:00



Thanks for the perspectives from those of you more in the know. So what is the business model, if they are not going to donate the language and all the critical add-ons they develop to open source? The only thing I can think of is to do something similar to what Red Hat did when they took a full open source operating system and (1) established themselves as the best qualified source of corporate "suppport" for their distribution and, eventually, (2) began offering some proprietary add-ons for sale to distinguish themselves further and produce additional revenue.
    
With regard to #2, if they are going into Android they could hope to become a significant force in the app development market for independent contractors, as when Red launches they would presumably have both the best development tool but also the foremost expertise in its use (as the developers of the language, they should have most or all of the key personnel who know the idiosyncracies of Red like the back of their hand ... and the ability to almost trivially patch or extend the core language anytime they run into a need.
    
Can anyone comment with any assurance on Doc's thinking with regard to the business model?

posted by:   stever       17-Jan-2015/11:47:58-8:00



Thanks for the perspectives from those of you more in the know. So what is the business model, if they are not going to donate the language and all the critical add-ons they develop to open source? The only thing I can think of is to do something similar to what Red Hat did when they took a full open source operating system and (1) established themselves as the best qualified source of corporate "suppport" for their distribution and, eventually, (2) began offering some proprietary add-ons for sale to distinguish themselves further and produce additional revenue.
    
With regard to #2, if they are going into Android they could hope to become a significant force in the app development market for independent contractors, as when Red launches they would presumably have both the best development tool but also the foremost expertise in its use (as the developers of the language, they should have most or all of the key personnel who know the idiosyncracies of Red like the back of their hand ... and the ability to almost trivially patch or extend the core language anytime they run into a need.
    
Can anyone comment with any assurance on Doc's thinking with regard to the business model?

posted by:   stever       17-Jan-2015/11:48:10-8:00



Doc! You shocked me with your personal response!! Sorry for the double post above, which you partially answered before I actually posted!
    
Thank you for the clarity -- and the daring vision to undertake and persist with Red through these years. FYI, I've logged on to red-lang.org pretty nearly every day for the last 4 months or more, hanging on every indication of progress! I actually tried to make a donation once but got stopped out because your donation system wouldn't accept payment by credit card from an American bank (only in euros, not dollars, I believe).
    
Anyway, you've just given me the assurance to focus on developing REBOL competency as I have no doubt Red is actually going to happen in my lifetime! :-)
    
I've been toying with Rebol2 for the last maybe six months, trying to decide whether to seriously put time into an indeterminate "pipe dream" (http://www.osnews.com/comments/199) which really intrigued me but had a long past of over-promising and under-delivering. Other languages I've been reading about and toying with were Python, Haskell, and Racket or Closure. I'm 20 years removed from assembly, C and unix shell. :-/
    
I presume at this point you are fully funded. If you find you can use another maybe $100K please let me know. It's pretty hard to find real, meaningful investments in this world right now, and I don't trust the markets. But I see you as an entrepreneur with a crystal clear vision and incredible integrity and fortitude. I would be honored to be on board with you! stevejr at zoho dot com.

posted by:   stever       17-Jan-2015/12:20:22-8:00



"the explanation is pretty simple, I have contacted most of them privately during the last weeks to announce that I was about to close a deal, so they already knew all the details. ;-) "
Checked Altme and my spam folder now too, but no mails there ;-)

posted by:   dlonrAi       17-Jan-2015/15:45:56-8:00



This is the most exciting REBOL/Red news in 7 or 8 years! Congrats & good luck to Nenad, qtxie and team.

posted by:   Ed       17-Jan-2015/16:17:57-8:00