Cucumber Limited: Our Business Plan

Aslak HellesøyApr 16, 2014

At CukeUp London the 3rd of April I gave a presentation of Cucumber Ltd - the company Matt, Julien and I have started. You can see the presentation here. This post explains why we started the company, and how it will benefit you.

Business Plan

The popularity of Cucumber and BDD has skyrocketed over the past couple of years. It took three years to reach one million downloads. The next million only took a little over one year. And just in the past year we saw two million downloads.

These numbers are only for the Ruby version. In addition to this there is also Cucumber-JVM, Cucumber-JS, Specflow and Behat (our two new official members of the cucumis probatius family) - all of which show similar patterns of growth.

Cucumber Ruby Gem Cumulative Downloads

We realised about a year ago that we’d need to make some changes to support this growth. Open source tools come and go, but we want our users to know that Cucumber is here to stay for many years to come.

It might not be obvious, but there is a huge amount of work going on behind the scenes on any open source project:

  • Supporting users on the mailing list and IRC channels
  • Coordinating the growing team of open-source contributors
  • Merging pull-requests
  • Fixing bugs
  • Making releases
  • Discussing and prioritising new features
  • Refactoring to keep the code healthy and easy to work on
  • Writing documentation (I know, we’re not very good at that)

We are proud that Cucumber has made it this far purely on voluntary contributions, but our growing community of users deserve more.

Cucumber Limited’s business plan is a simple virtuous cycle:

  1. Cucumber gets more popular
  2. People buy training / support / Cucumber Pro licences
  3. Cucumber Limited gets revenue
  4. More time to make Cucumber better
  5. GOTO 1

The company's revenue stream will come from three different sources:

  • Training, Consulting and Coaching teams in BDD and Cucumber
  • Priority support plans
  • Cucumber Pro, our commercial online collaboration platform

We think these commercial offerings will benefit the community not only by funding the continued development of the open source products, but by helping the whole community to level up.

Talking of levelling up, our next public training course takes place in London 29. April - 1. May with Aslak and Matt. Although we’ve done a couple of in house classes together, this is the first time we’ll have the chance to teach a public course together. Tickets are selling fast, so book now!

This is a really exciting time for us, but what do you think about it all? Let us know in the comments.

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