OSWay 10 years later
As I briefly mentioned in this post I founded a company called OSWay – The Open Source Way – back in 2000 with a friend of mine, exactly 10 years ago!
A bit of history: in 1997 I went live with my first ever website on Geocities, it was called C++Warriors and it was all about...C++ :-) News, articles and tutorials were in Italian and that was a scarse resource at the time so much so that it got featured on a few magazine (the physical ones!) and got quite some traction. That's when I met all kinds of interesting people like Alex Martelli of Python and Google fame (at the time he was able to spit out a 30-part tutorial on Win32 programming in a matter of days) and Ugo Landini to name a few.
In 1998 I started thinking about the success of C++Warriors and decided that if a little amateurish website about C++ was so successful it was due to the sheer lack of programming resources in Italian and I started planning what would then become Programmazione.it in 1999 (although I have nothing to do with it since 2003 it still exists and it's 11 years old now!): the first Italian website about programming with news, articles, tutorials and soft dev product reviews all in Italian.
To do that I needed to find people willing to write and publish material in Italian about as many programming languages as possible and that's when I met Filippo on the #programmazione IRCNet channel in 1998 who will then become my business partner in both Programmazione.it and OSWay (I now regret a lot letting osway.com, .net, .org and .it expire a few years ago :-()
At the end of 1999 Filippo and I also started working together for a few customers and came up with a product idea around "making information free", sharing and collaborating on-line, etc, etc (all pretty common stuff nowadays), founded OSWay S.r.l., sold part of it to a public company to get some capital and invest it into the product development. We eventually froze the product and kept working as a software house specialised in the use of Open Source. We did all sorts of things from partnering with SuSe Italy, to developing the world first Kylix enterprise-grade POS application (there used to be our case history on Borland‘s website before the CodeGear split), community websites in Java and PHP (Freestation.it), Linux-based embedded software for touch-screen, industrial-rugged appliances and more.
We started working on the product a few months before incorporating but we eventually incorporated in September 2000, exactly 10 years ago!!
There are many noteworthy things about that venture, including the fact that Open Source was at the center of everything we did, starting from the company very own name 3 years before the Open Source Initiative adopted bylaws and applied for recognition as 501(c)3 nonprofit in 2003 but I just wanted to celebrate the 10th aniversary with a post and this is it :-)
UPDATE: Filippo dug out the flash teaser that we prepared in 2000 for OSWay and the product. Yes, it's flash and yes it's heavy but it's still beautiful! :-D
Warning: there is sound and at the end it tries to redirect you to a page that clearly doesn’t exist anymore....