Mattermost uses a buyer-based open core business model to deliver a high trust, self-managed messaging platform for developers and high security end users. We develop a portfolio of offerings at different price points (including free/open source) that align to the needs and budgets of different buyers.
The free/open source version of Mattermost is built for developers as an innovative, flexible, high trust messaging platform that accelerates collaboration in DevOps workflows of a tight-knit team.
The paid enterprise edition of Mattermost is built for team managers and IT professionals as a flexible, high trust messaging platform that meets compliance needs in serving multiple teams of developers and end users in high security environments.
We use the acronym "TACTICAL" to summarize the approach to maintaining differentiation of the paid version of our offerings to offerings a competitor may create from our open source code base:
Test infrastructure: We use SaaS QA which isn't included in the open source version
Alignment: Developer features are free. Paid features are for managers and IT pros, who are less likely to spend time and effort forking and maintaining an open source project vs. deploying budgets to purchase paid features
Core committers: We work with an active community of core committers to keep the project and business in sync
Threat intelligence: Mattermost's responsible disclosure policy means forks will lag in threat intelligence
Innovation: Monthly ship cycles and high velocity innovation rapidly lower the value of forks
Compatibility: Only genuine versions upgrade smoothly to new releases and security patches
Architecture: Modular architecture makes the need to fork rare
Licensing: Mattermost's trademark is registered internationally, forking requires renaming