Many consider the origin of Moodle, an Open Source technology anyone can download and customize, a philanthropic one. At the very least, it involved a “noble act”, according to David Wilson at the Canberra Times. On an interview with Martin Dougiamas aka “Moodler”, founder and CEO of Moodle, Wilson begins with the story of how he turned down a $20 million buyout offer. Nothing to sneeze at. In the end, Dougiamas decided to “keep it freely available”.
Many consider the “Moodler” an Australian treasure, and similar status in the Open Source and EdTech communities. But he “downplays his sacrifice”. That said, he admits that, had he taken the money, “Moodle would have been destroyed“, and perhaps he would not have the influence he enjoys, which today reaches an international scale.
Wilson describes Dougiamas as a tinkerer more than a disruptor, that still admires some Silicon Valley luminaries (not all), such as Elon Musk. But Martin prefers iteration:
«Sometimes it’s about refining what you’ve got – making it solid and making it really work.»
It is a philosophy that permeates his business practices and personal relationships. He credits communication and open dialog as an important factor in his career, and therefore in the origin of Moodle itself.