Michael Widenius: The Hacking Business Model

Creator: Michael Widenius, one of the founders of the MySQL database, co-wrote this manifesto.

Purpose: “…Rules for running a company based on egalitarian and sustainable principles.” (Jansson)



• Create a sustainable business model that can be adopted and adapted by others.

• Create a fair and democratic company that is owned by the workers.

• Have long-term, trustworthy and meaningful relationships with our staff and customers.



• Egalitarian: The belief that all people should be treated equally. This includes equality, non-discrimination and inclusivity.

• Sustainable: We have a long-term view on our business. We watch our profits & spend wisely, we take care of each other, we support the things we depend on.

• Transparent: We communicate in an honest and genuine way. Any information or process that can be made open, will be made open.

• Fun: Create a workplace where people can have fun and want to work.

• Agile: Be flexible, receptive & adaptive, especially when dealing with staff and customers.



Concrete tools for helping us live according to our principles, including:

• Consensus-based decision making.

• Corporate transparency – any information or process that can be made open, should be made open.

• Licensing that helps benefit our company, our staff, our customers, our partners and society at large.

• Profit-sharing with staff, contributors and worthy causes.

• Don’t try to change people. Focus on getting the best from their strengths. Develop ways to work around their weaknesses.

• Prefer to work with people who share our values.

• Work against patents and other legislation that harms individual rights.


Additional Sections

Default Employee Rules

The Rules of the Company



Blog Post by Mattias Jansson: http://altdevblogaday.org/2011/05/21/the-hacking-business-model/

Originally posted on Zak Greant’s Blog: http://zak.greant.com/