IT Life: Building Alfresco To An Open Source Giant

“For a while, I was also running the European technical centre in London, which is where I met my wife, one of the reasons I live in the UK. I went back to the US to found Documentum with a friend in 1990, and we more or less invented enterprise content management. There was no such thing when we started.’

“After about six years I moved back to Europe, where I was running marketing and professional services for Documentum, in addition to some development work. After five more years and a lot of travelling, I decided to go and look at new things. I became an ‘entrepreneur in residence’ at Benchmark Capital, one of the leading venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.’

“That’s when I came to the conclusion that the old enterprise model doesn’t really work. What seemed to work was open source. We looked at things like MySQL, Linux and JBoss, and said ‘you know, you can create software with open source which is as good as proprietary’. Plus, I could work from Europe, where my family is. So John Powell, who was the CEO of Business Objects, and me, we created Alfresco.”