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Chapter 24: Year 2—A Change of Strategy


Opening Quote  

I open this chapter with the Serenity Prayer. I encountered this prayer for the first time in the book Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

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Fragment from Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Focus on iText

This was the Belgian iText team in the bus on the way to the All Hands Meeting:
iText team January 2017
© 2017, personal collection Lowagie-Willaert

The GPL, an Enforceable Contract

While waiting for a plane in Brussels Airport, I read the article A federal court has ruled that an open-source license is an enforceable contract.

Buckeye Roadhouse

During a phone call with the CEO of Artifex, we talked about a great restaurant in Mill Valley: the Buckeye Roadhouse.

iText as a Platform

Stephan Engelen and I came up with the concept of iText as a Platform.
iText 7: iText as a Platform

The iText mascot was based on me always wearing a hoodie and a sketch I once drew on the white board. It was used in the marketing materials in 2018-19:
Sketch of the iText mascot originally drawn by Bruno Lowagie iText 7: iText as a Platform (marketing)


If you want to know what ZUGFeRD is about, you can watch this (long) video.

This is the team that presented ZUGFeRD at an ETDA event in Bangkok: Chanpreet Kathuria, Johannes Döring, Sujira Promnimit, and myself.
Inbatek and iText at ETDA Inbatek and iText at ETDA
© 2017, Inbatek

You can find all the videos of the ETDA conference in Bangkok on YouTube


iText invested in growth in 2017. These are some of the job opening for the Belgian office that year.
news paper job advertisement iText
© 2017, personal collection Lowagie-Willaert

iText @ Oracle Code One

This is the iText booth at Oracle Code One in 2017.
iText booth Oracle Code One 2017
© 2017, personal collection Lowagie-Willaert

Visiting Thiel Capital

In December 2017, I was invited to talk about iText at Thiel Capital.
lobby Thiel Capital San Francisco office Yoda Fountain San Francisco Darth Vader statue
© 2017, personal collection Lowagie-Willaert

Peter Thiel is the author of the book Zero to One. I like that title. Although I succeeded in growing the business, I often told the board of directors: "I like building something out of nothing; I'm less interested in making more of plenty." The book itself has its merits, but it's a pity the author didn't practice what he preached in the sense that he didn't come to my defense when I could use some help. As an investor, he's probably more interested in 1 to M nowadays.

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Book Quotes  

  • That’s the power of FOSS at its best. Something I had created to kill the time in one part of the world indirectly led to digital innovation in another part.
  • I had indirectly advised a competing colleague on how to sue an infringer, not knowing that he would sue a business partner.
  • In December, I was informed that Crescendo was also interested in iText. I was invited to go to the headquarters of Thiel Capital in San Francisco to introduce iText to Matt Danzeisen, Peter Thiel’s husband.


  • On page 333, "I text" is in the wrong tense; it should be "I texted" (reported by Paul Jowett).

Soundtrack for this Chapter  

I listen to music, but my taste in music is questionable. I've selected a handful of songs for every chapters. Sometimes, there's a link to the chapter, sometimes I just like the song.

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