Open Deals - One year later
For those who don't know about Open Deals, it is a Drupal distribution that lets you build a deals site (like Groupon) with a few clicks. You just download it, install it and you are ready to get orders.
We started building the Open Deals distribution about a year ago. You can find the initial post about it here. We released the 7.x-1.1 version (after many alpha, beta and RC releases) just a few hours ago. Currently, there are no open issues and this is considered a stable release. So, I think this is a good time to recap this year.
First of all, let's make clear that we didn't build Open Deals for personal use nor for any client that had asked us for something like that. We built it for two reasons. To learn how a distribution is built and to attract new clients.
Even though we didn't have the number of requests and jobs that we anticipated, we did learn a lot of new things and most of all, we felt the pleasure that Drupal modules and distributions maintainers get when they see their work used by others.
At the time of writing, Open Deals is reported to have been downloaded more than 4.000 times and is used on more than 250 sites! One of them being the University of Arizona! (uasavvy.arizona.edu). We have built a small showcase of sites built on Open Deals at the project page. Seeing your work used by others is indeed a rewarding experience.
Last but not least, Open Deals got us to know a lot of Drupal folks from all parts of the world who contacted us either via our contact form, via Skype or via the project's issue queue asking for support. That made us realize first hand that Drupal is indeed a global project. Internationalization at its best!
So, if you asked me if I did it again, the answer is Yes! If you asked me if you should do it, I'd say "Go for It"! It's not about money. It's about the rewards mentioned above.