Today is a momentous day. I know I say this a fair amount, usually to dramatise an otherwise boring blog post, but I really mean it this time. You see, today is the day I get to proudly announce Soario, a company co-founded by yours truly, sewn from the seeds of Symphony CMS.
Soario is a company that provides two very important things to the Symphony community: support and support.
I know I mentioned "support" twice, though they represent two different aspects of the word.
First is "support" used in the context of businesses. Over the past couple years, the Symphony open source project have been outgrown by businesses that use them. While it's great that there are large organisations that depend on Symphony, often times the demands of these companies cannot be fulfilled by what our project and community can currently offer. Symphony to this date has been propelled by developers that love the system, who offer their free time to help push the project forward. As more and more businesses rely on the system to stay on the cutting edge, and expect extensions to maintain compatibility with the latest and greatest, contributors are left with a great degree of pressure to sink in more and more of their time to keep up with demand. This is obviously not sustainable and once good will among the contributors runs dry, the community is left with very little alternative to keep things going.
Many open source projects solve this problem by providing an infrastructure that offers businesses a more direct way of solving their problem, and this is where Soario comes in. Simply put, Soario provides commercial products and services for web developers and agencies using Symphony as their development platform. We're not quite ready to announce our product and service plans publically just yet, but please stay tuned. Incidentally, if you are a web agency, we would love to hear from you. We're currently looking for agencies to partner up with, both big and small.
Second is "support" used in the context of the Symphony project. I have mentioned a while back that the plan is to structure Symphony as a proper non-profit organisation. As it turns out, and much to no one's surprise, it costs money! For us to have the infrastructure to support an open source project of our size, we need enough capital to employ two full-time staff that can help keep Symphony's rate of development consistent and manage the project's community and everything else that comes along with it (documentation, extension maintenance, etc.)
For a non-profit organisation, funds are typically realised through donations and sponsorship and this is also where Soario comes in. Soario is tasked to donate a portion of the company's profits to Symphony. In fact, Soario has already set aside funds to sponsor three projects currently being organised by the Symphony community: Symposium 2012, Symphony Bootstrap and Symphony Bounty. We'll have a blog post on each of these projects very soon.
There is a lot more information to come on both Soario and Symphony, so please bolt your eyes firmly on the Symphony website in the next coming weeks.
I told you today was a momentous day, I totally didn't lie!