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2 posts tagged with "Ondsel"

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· 3 min read
Brad Collette

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? -Mark 8:36

Late last year I was talking with Open Core Ventures about the possibility of starting Ondsel. It was exciting to hear from people outside the FreeCAD community who shared the vision that this software was important and could be so much more than it already is. As the idea of actually starting a company took hold, the first important decision was which legal structure the new company would have. Two things that I read deeply affected me and shaped the final decision.

The first was an article by Jen Barnette that highlighted five considerations for being a public benefits corporation (PBC).

At a time when ambition often clashes with integrity, the formation of Ondsel as a Public Benefit Company (PBC) should stand as a testament to our belief in conscious entrepreneurship. The ethos of open-source software, characterized by collaboration and transparency, frequently finds itself at odds with the profit-driven dynamics of the modern tech landscape. Ondsel's genesis as a PBC exemplifies a commitment to upholding the soul of open-source values, even in the pursuit of success. Open-source software, a cornerstone of the digital age, embodies the spirit of sharing, transparency, and collective betterment. But, as projects mature, they can wrestle with the challenges of sustainability. Developers who once dedicated themselves to a project out of love find their efforts ensnared by financial considerations and proprietary boundaries, straying from the core essence of openness. Ondsel's inception as a PBC is a direct response—a proactive stance to prevent the dilution of these core values. The five points that Jen described meshed well with my own thinking and I made sure to include them in our own handbook. I revisit them often to make sure my thinking doesn’t drift away from the core values we started with.

The second thing I read was Simon Sinek’s book The Infinite Game. He suggests that a company should have a “just cause” that inspires people because it explains why you’re doing what you do.

For me, this one was easy. Human beings are creative and social creatures. Not everyone creates physical things but Everyone is a maker of ideas. We enjoy sharing our ideas, talking about them and improving them. Sometimes those ideas turn into physical things that have beauty, utility, and value. These days, you need tools to express your ideas so others can build on them and we need everyone’s best ideas. People deserve access to tools to help them express their ideas, share them with other people, and use them to produce useful things that benefit all of us. Ondsel wants to make powerful, efficient, and beautiful design tools available to more people.

· 3 min read
Brad Collette

100 Days

It’s hard to believe that it’s been just over three months since Ondsel started operations. One hundred days, in fact. I thought it would be fun to take a moment and consider what we’ve been able to accomplish in that time.

First, we built a team. Besides myself, Ondsel now has five people working on the future of FreeCAD. We were able to recruit, interview, hire, equip, and onboard five exceptionally talented people who hit the ground running and started contributing to FreeCAD.

We attended FOSDEM in Brussels in February where we got to meet with project leaders. We heard from many users who both love FreeCAD but are frustrated with the lack of progress on some big problems. We learned a ton and we were able to build consensus on a path forward.

From that, we laid out a plan for finally resolving the topo-naming problem. One of our people, @JohnDupuyCOMO refined the plan to incorporate RealThunder’s algorithm, and the developer community not only accepted it but started working with blazing speed to accomplish it. The first phase was completed in only a couple of weeks. Now we’ve started phase two.

We started building the Ondsel brand. We got a logo designed, put up a website, and established accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms. We’ve taken our Twitter following from zero to almost two hundred followers.

We built relationships with some outstanding creators including Rebecca Dodd and Alexandre Prokoudine who are helping to create our blog content and communicate our vision.

We worked with Reedy Designs and to reskin the website in just over a week.

We initiated the FPA Handbook and contributed content to it.

We initiated the new Developer’s Handbook and are continuing to add new content to it as well.

We started our own handbook which will be an indispensable part of our company culture.

We published more than a dozen blog posts including a seven-part series on Assembly.

Our Assembly series started a community-wide discussion about an integrated assembly workbench — a much-needed core capability of FreeCAD. The discussion has had more than fifteen thousand views and hundreds of comments. We got some great insights that helped us shape the vision for this feature.

Another of our developers @ajinkyadahale completed our contract to improve spline construction in sketdcher for the Open Tool Chain Foundation.

Yet another of our developers @amrit3701 has been building the infrastructure to support our eventual product — a subject you will hear much more about in the coming months.

We got eight pull requests merged into the FreeCAD master branch, including PRs for topo-naming and many quality-of-life improvements by @pierrelouisboy: 9173, 9172, 9143, 9117, 9080, 9026, 9010, 8990.

We did all that in one-hundred days and I’m sure I’m missing many more things we did along the way.

I’m incredibly grateful, humbled, proud and excited. I’m grateful for the support of our investors Open Core Ventures and Sid Sijbrandij. I’m humbled by the support of the FreeCAD community and leadership. I’m proud of the stellar work of our people and partners.

I hope you follow us because I’m excited to see what we can do when we REALLY get rolling!