Hello to everyone in the Liferay community and a belated Happy New Year. I trust January has been filled with new opportunities and renewed energy for all of us after the holiday break.
I've gotten in the habit of writing an annual year-in-review entry but am a little behind on 2009. So many good things are happening here at Liferay that it's hard to keep up! We recently put out a press release highlighting our successes in 2009:
These are all exciting figures but they only tell part of the story. 2009 was a significant year for Liferay Inc. in many other ways. First, 2009 was a year where we all felt a lot of concern about the economy and what the recession might mean for our business. By the end of first quarter of 2009 we were at least six months in to the crisis, but we had no visible signs of being affected. Business was up and people were responding well to our new Enterprise Edition. But our management team always strives to be fiscally prudent and to proactively manage spending, burn, and cash flow. So around March 2009 we wondered whether we needed to take any drastic measures in anticipation of a possible downturn in business.
We found blogs citing the kind of advice premier VCs like Benchmark and Sequoia had been giving their portfolio companies since October 2008:
We considered the Zappos model for conserving capital.
Upon reflection, though, the truth was we had already been running our business this way for the past five years:
We were quite humbled to think that as young entrepreneurs we had taken all the same steps that top tier investors with years of experience were recommending.
Enterprise Edition: Exceeding our Goals
2009 was also significant as the first year we offered to the market a commercial version of our flagship product, Liferay Portal. We had seen several other open source vendors execute on similar models and it seemed to bring many benefits to all parties, but how would our community respond to this move?
Very well, in fact; the Liferay community wholeheartedly embraced Enterprise Edition:
We have since released two EE versions of Liferay Portal and our organizations is tuned for this new model.
A Mature and Agile Organization
I was particularly delighted in 2009 to see how quickly our team here at Liferay executed on evolving the organization toward a subscription-based company with a dual-license model providing regular software updates and support. We set a goal in January of last year to build the machinery needed to drive sales of and support EE, grow a partner network to deliver solutions based on EE, and make the engineering investments in support, QA, performance testing, and environment testing to make EE a success, and by all counts we exceeded those goals. I am very proud to work with a team of talented, dedicated, and genuinely wonderful people here at Liferay.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed:
More importantly, our customers continue to share about the empowerment Liferay provides them in their enterprises, the innovative solutions they are building, and the tremendous benefits end users are experiencing with our software.
Other memorable moments in 2009:
Introducing Liferay Foundation
I'll close by talking a little bit about Liferay Foundation. Those who have been part of the Liferay community for some time are probably aware that Liferay, Inc., has actively been involved over the years in supporting organizations that are helping in disaster situations or providing more long-term development aid in developing countries. To further maximize our impact, we formed the Liferay Foundation in 2009 as an organization dedicated to discovering the unique ways we can meet the needs we encounter in the world. Most recently, Liferay Foundation offered a matching donation to our community of up to $15,000 for those supporting the relief effort in Haiti. Longer term, we want to invest in efforts that are sustainable and empowering to make a long-term difference in addition to the one-time donations we have made in response to disasters. You'll hear a lot more about Liferay Foundation in the coming months, and you can certainly talk to us if you are interested in learning more.
There's a lot more in store for Liferay in 2010 and I'll look forward to sharing more with you in an upcoming blog! Until then, thank you to everyone who has contributed to making Liferay even stronger in 2009!