Free/Libre/Open Source Marketing

Harris Kenny | @harriskenny

Who is Harris Kenny?

Vice President of Marketing at Aleph Objects, Inc.

We are building an in-house marketing and
creative team that uses a Libre tool chain/stack.

What is Aleph Objects, Inc.?

A Free Software, Libre Innovation, and Open
Source Hardware company.

Maker of the LulzBot® line of desktop 3D printers,
Headquartered in Loveland, Colorado, USA

Company has grown from $1.7mm revenue in 2013
to $15mm revenue in 2015. Growing more in 2016!

What is Libre?

Freedom to run, view, modify, share, and sell.

Assuming you value this,
let's talk about applying it to marketing!

Marketing Relevance

  1. Tools
  2. Processes
  3. Messaging
  4. Content
  5. Support

1. Tools

  • Graphic Design
  • Video Editing
  • Audio Editing
  • Website Analytics
  • Forecasting
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • 3D Modeling
  • And more...


Help Free Open Source Projects with beautiful design.
Spoke with: Elio Qoshi (@elioqoshi)


Improve UI/UX/design in Open Source projects to increase adoption and accessibility.


Founded Ura, an organization dedicated to offering creative assistance to developers and project maintainers, using all Libre tools. Paid by project and crowdfunding.


Word and financial support is growing, work with projects is increasing.

2. Processes

  • User Personas
  • Events and Tradeshows
  • Strategic Planning
  • Email Newsletters
  • Brand Style Guide
  • Giveaways
  • New Product Introduction
  • And more...


A community of designers and developers collaborating to build a UI framework for enterprise web applications.
Spoke with: Leslie Hinson (@patternflygirl)


Tap community knowledge and insight to improve stakeholder personas.


Freely license and publicly share documents on the project blog, promote on social media and respond to feedback.


Personas becoming more sophisticated, project is growing with site traffic doubling year-over-year.

3. Messaging

  • Freedom!
  • Active Community
  • Build Your Own
  • Flash Firmware
  • Right to Repair
  • Understand How it Works
  • Make Modifications
  • And more...


Powerful computers to help you do more, go further, and unleash your potential.
Spoke with: Louisa Bisio (@louiekapooey)


Increase sales during a historically slow weekend (because of a holiday).


Digital campaign to celebrate freedom and open source, used a Twitter hashtag counter to "unlock" segments of a video and spark conversations about making.


Year-over-year profitability up over 50% in year one, up even more in year two.

4. Content

  • Websites
  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Documentation
  • Packaging
  • 3D Models
  • Tutorials
  • And more...


An open source ground station and network, optimized for modularity, built from readily available and affordable tools and resources.
Spoke with: Eleftherios Kosmas (@elkos)


Expand Libre technology and culture to the final frontier (space!), create content consistent with those values.


Take a comprehensive and disciplined approach to licensing content to ensure maximum possible exposure and accessibility of work for users and the community.


Notoriety is growing, including winning the prestigious Hackaday Prize and building the first libre satellite in the world.

5. Support

  • .kicad_pcb
  • .webm
  • .blend
  • .odt/s/p
  • .txt
  • .freecad
  • .ogg
  • And more...


An electric ecosystem and community printed circuit board (PCB) order.
Spoke with: Drew Fustini (@pdp7)


Simplify Open Source Hardware fabrication with KiCAD.


Introduced the ability to accept direct uploads of KiCAD PCB designs on (versus requiring gerber files), making design and development easier for users.


Positive feedback to the announcement and strong credibility with the community.

Others Discussing this:

  • Alexandre Prokoudine (@prokoudine)
  • Andres Galante (@andresgalante)
  • Ben Malouf (@benmalouf)
  • François Téchené (@feeef)
  • Jason Van Gumster (@monsterjavaguns)
  • Jackie Yeaney (@jackieyeaney)
  • Libby Levi (@LibbyLevi)
  • Michael Coronado (@Coronado_101)
  • Mike Esser (@mikeesser)
  • Nithya Ruff (@nithyaruff)
  • Ruth Suehle (@suehle)
  • And MANY more!

Let's Share Ideas

Join the conversation using #LibreMarketing

Support others adopting this approach

Promote projects advancing this approach


Created with Free Software

Source (in Order of Use):

- "Free/Libre/Open Source Marketing" shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 Intl. © Aleph Objects, Inc.
- "Portland OR" shared under CC BY 2.0 license © 2010 Michael Silberstein
- LulzBot is a registered trademark of Aleph Objects, Inc.
- All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
- "Aleph Mountain Photo" shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 Intl. © Aleph Objects, Inc.
- "Aleph Objects Production Floor" shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 Intl. © Aleph Objects, Inc.
- "LulzBot TAZ and Mini" shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 Intl. © Aleph Objects, Inc.
- "Ura Portfolio" shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 license © 2016 Ura
- "Building with PatternFly" used with permission under Standard YouTube license © 2016 PatternFly
- "lemu6 Video" used with permission © 2016 System76
- "SatNOGS Project Intro" shared under CC BY 3.0 license © 2015 SatNOGS
- "screenshot-from-2016-09-13-13-38-09" used with permission © 2016 OSH Park
- Reveal.js framework shared under MIT ("Expat") License © 2016 Hakim El Hattab