Almost 15 years ago Shaun Walker released IBuySpy Workshop as a free product. Within just a few short months the product was open sourced and the name changed to DotNetNuke (and subsequently to DNN some years later). DNN has enjoyed much success over these past 15 years. The community grew rapidly and a thriving ecosystem sprung up around the project. Many of the most successful companies in the ecosystem got their start during the early years when DNN was still a bit immature and .Net was still relatively new.
One of those companies, DNN Corp., is one that I had the pleasure to co-found with Shaun Walker, Scott Willhite and Nik Kalyani in 2006. It was always our vision to continue improving DNN and to help foster and grow the community and ecosystem. In 2008, to help us achieve our vision, we sought out investors who understood our vision and were willing to back our dreams. We also hired a new CEO who brought his own open source background and management expertise to the team.
DNN Corp. has worked hard since 2008 to build a successful commercial business on top of our open source product. We have always believed that you could build a thriving business even while giving back to the community who have supported us and championed DNN for all these years. This abundance mentality is one of the core beliefs that the company was founded on.
It is my pleasure to announce that DNN Corp was recently acquired by ESW Capital. Like our previous investors, ESW Capital is excited to work with the DNN Corp team and our community to continue building on the product foundations that the founders, the DNN Corp team and the community built over the last decade.
As part of the acquisition, Andy Tryba is joining DNN as our new CEO. Andy has spent the last 15 years as CEO of multiple successful startups, Director of Strategy at Intel Corporation, and advisor to the U.S. White House on the future of jobs and engineering talent. Andy also brings a unique community perspective to DNN as the CEO and cofounder of RideAustin, a nonprofit, community supported ridesharing company that is part of the Open Data movement. In addition, Andy is the CEO of Engine Yard, the leader in Ruby-on-Rails Full Stack and DevOps, along with being the founder and CEO of Crossover, one of the largest online talent marketplaces - spanning over 108 countries.
Over the past decade DNN Corp has struggled to find a balance between the interests of the community and our commercial interests. All too often we have come across as hostile to our own community or kept the community at arm’s length. This conflict has been counter-productive: it has hurt the community which in turn hurts our company. That is something that we absolutely will change.
"For over a decade, the DNN open source community has been instrumental in delivering solutions that customers value. I look forward to embracing the community further to accelerate innovation and reenergize the power of open source." – Andy Tryba
Andy believes that the community and the ecosystem is vital to what we do here, and that the community is an asset that we should fully embrace and champion. Andy and ESW are committed to changing how we engage with the community, and to invest in the success of our community and ecosystem members. As a result, you will see a markedly increased focus from us in this area. As part of this effort we’ll be calling together a meeting of key community leaders to jointly discuss the best strategy for changing the way we engage with the community. Out of this meeting we will develop a joint roadmap for improving community relations, improving the platform and helping to breathe new life and vitality into the ecosystem.
As one of the early community members and a strong advocate for open source, I am especially heartened by Andy’s commitment to our community and ecosystem. Today I feel the same sense of excitement and optimism that I felt 9 years ago when the first investors decided to take a chance on Shaun, Scott, Nik and myself, and I look forward to the journey ahead with the new members of the DNN team.
I want to take this opportunity to personally thank Navin Nagiah who has been an advocate for DNN, and the DNN ecosystem, over the last decade. Navin has always been a strong supporter of DNN and has rooted for the success of our ecosystem members. Although he is moving on to new adventures, I will always count him as a personal friend and mentor, and a true friend of the DNN community.