CouchDb Incorporated?

I’ve spent the past few weeks doing legwork to find investment funding for CouchDb in order to turn it into a business. Business plans, investors, revenue streams, timelines, ROI, burn rate, blah, blah, blah.

And I came to the conclusion that I don’t want to turn CouchDb into a business. I decided I’d rather continue developing it free of business demands.

Information technologies are the tools that help us organize, understand and share information. And I’m not just talking about computers. The spoken word, the written word, books, the moveable type press, telephone, radio, TV and the Internet are all tools that have helped us express, collect and share information. They allow us to stand on the shoulders of giants, to communicate ideas across space and time and unleash human creativity. Each wave of tools has added new potential to what we can collectively do to improve our world, our environment, our lives. But our tools could be so much better.

CouchDb isn’t just a way to store data. It's a method of communication, a way to think about collecting, organizing and sharing information. The current tools aren’t enough, human beings need more intuitive models and systems that more closely map to our real world problems.

So CouchDb means very much to me, at a very deep level. And because of that, I’d rather not risk ruining it though commercialization. I’d rather keep it free of business constraints and allow it to develop to its full potential in the open.

This work is truly a labor of love. Designing and developing CouchDb was very challenging, and often not in a fun way. I could never have gotten this far part time. To get up and running something big and complex as an ACID compliant, distributed database system with integrated query language is a no small task. It took many many months of careful design, planning and uninterrupted development, not to mention attacking every single problem that cropped up like it’s the only problem in the world.

And now CouchDb development is far enough along that I can continue part time. The biggest and most complex parts are in place and working, most of the remaining work is adding smaller features to the already working code base. Development will now continue in small steps that weren’t possible early in the project.

So in related news, the non-commercialization of CouchDb also means I will now looking for a real job! I’ve decided against remote contract work, I want to be back working with real people on real teams, which means I’ll certainly need to relocate from Charlotte, NC. I’ll be posting more about all that soon.

Posted January 15, 2007 11:14 PM