TYPO3 Association Strategy


Written by: Boris Hinzer and Mathias Bolt Lesniak
Date: October 2023

1 — Introduction

1.1 — TL;DR

Having a strategy for TYPO3 is essential for providing direction, creating a competitive advantage, optimizing resource allocation, fostering adaptability, promoting alignment, facilitating decision-making, and engaging stakeholders. The strategy acts as a roadmap for the success of the TYPO3 Association and helps us navigate the complexities of the business landscape.

It helps us build trust, engage employees and community members, attract investors and partners, and gain support from customers and the community.

The strategy will continue to be revisited as an iterative process to ensure it continues to meet our needs.

1.2 — Having a Strategy Is Crucial

Having a strategy for the TYPO3 Association is crucial for several reasons. Here are some key benefits of having a well-defined strategy:

  1. Direction and Focus: A strategy provides a clear sense of direction for the TYPO3 Association and its activities. It outlines our long-term goals and objectives, and maps the path we need to take to achieve them. It helps us prioritize initiatives, allocate resources effectively, and ensures that everyone in the TYPO3 Association, the TYPO3 GmbH and the Community is working towards a common goal. Without a strategy, we will lack focus and wander aimlessly.
  2. Competitive Advantage: A well-crafted strategy helps us identify and leverage our competitive advantages. It involves understanding our market, competitors, and customers to differentiate our offerings and position our organization uniquely. By defining our unique value proposition and strategic positioning, we can attract customers and community members, create barriers to entry for closed-source competitors, and ultimately gain a competitive edge.
  3. Resource Allocation: Strategy helps us make informed decisions about allocating our resources, such as financial capital, human resources, and time. It ensures that resources are used efficiently and effectively to achieve our goals. By aligning resources with our strategic priorities, we can avoid wasteful spending and optimize our operations.
  4. Adaptability and Resilience: In a dynamic business environment, having a strategy enables us to adapt to changes and overcome challenges. A well-designed strategy considers potential risks, market shifts, and emerging trends, allowing us to anticipate and respond to them proactively. It helps the TYPO3 Project remain agile, resilient, and better equipped to navigate uncertainties.
  5. Alignment and Coordination: A strategy facilitates alignment and coordination within our organizations. It provides a common framework and shared understanding of the TYPO3 Association’s goals, values, and expectations — even among people from the outside or those remotely connected to the TYPO3 Association or the TYPO3 Community.

    This alignment helps employees, volunteers and members work together towards common objectives, fosters teamwork, and improves overall organizational performance.
  6. Decision-making Framework: A strategy serves as a decision-making framework. It provides guidelines and principles that guide choices at various levels, from day-to-day operational decisions to strategic investment choices. It helps us evaluate opportunities, assess risks, and make informed decisions that align with our long-term vision.
  7. Communication and Stakeholder Engagement: A clear strategy allows us to effectively communicate our vision, goals, and progress to internal and external stakeholders. It helps build trust, engage employees and community members, attract investors and partners, and gain support from customers and the community. A well-communicated strategy creates a sense of purpose and builds credibility for the TYPO3 Association.

2 — Current Situation

2.1 — We Have Come a Long Way

The last few years in the TYPO3 Association were marked by the professionalization of the services around TYPO3, but now it is time to focus on our main product. 

The TYPO3 GmbH often acted as a pure service agency for infrastructural tasks or as a “rescue mission” for subprojects and events in need, that could not be carried out by the TYPO3 Association Board, the BCC, or community teams on a voluntary basis.

While the surrounding market was clearly developing in the direction of SaaS, subscription models, no-code/low-code offerings, and cloud-based solutions, neither the TYPO3 Association nor TYPO3 GmbH acted on these market opportunities and threats in a targeted manner, to counter them, or even to develop their business models around a strong product, TYPO3 CMS. 

The desire for a strong, leading, and guiding TYPO3 Association came both from the bodies of the Association itself and from the extended TYPO3 community. This resulted in the strategy process for the TYPO3 Association, GmbH, and Project.

3 — TYPO3 Project Vision, Mission, and Purpose

The TYPO3 Association is an integral part of the TYPO3 Project. Everything thought and done by the Association happens within the context of the TYPO3 Project and never outside of it. As a result, the TYPO3 Association’s vision, mission, and purpose is always the same as — or a subset of — the project’s vision, mission, and purpose.

While the TYPO3 Association’s vision and purpose are the same as for the Project, the mission is formulated thus: 

“The TYPO3 Association enables community, collaboration, ideas, and exchange to foster the TYPO3 project and secure the freedom of open source.”

This image illustrates the relationship between the TYPO3 Project, TYPO3 Product, TYPO3 Association and TYPO3 GmbH (aka. TYPO3 Company), and their visions, missions, and purposes:

3.1 — Vision

Empower * to unlock their potential, creating opportunities through content.

We believe that every person can bring something unique to the table. Content is fundamental to empowering people today to share knowledge, unlock possibilities, and achieve their potential regardless of who they are, what they believe, or where they come from. Our people, software, and services will empower content for everyone.

3.2 — Mission

Enable freedom, interconnection, and collaboration through sustainable, world-class, open content management software.

Our mission is to make a better world for everyone by building and maintaining sustainable, affordable,  accessible, easy-to-use, open-source software, offering professional services, and creating an open and welcoming community.

3.3 — Purpose

Equalize opportunities through Open Source.

Our purpose is to equalize opportunities by making our world-class open source software available to anyone, free to download and use. We offer our supporting services at prices adjusted to local circumstances. Our products strengthen collaboration, empower independent businesses, educational and government institutions, and civil society worldwide.

4 — Values

4.1 — Trust, Respect, Openness, and Sharing

Since the beginning, TYPO3 has been more than just a piece of software. TYPO3 is a community. Our values are there to guide our work and make sure the community is a great place for everyone.

These core values also apply to the TYPO3 Association.

4.2 — Trust and Respect

Trust and respect each person and their work. Remember to give the trust and respect you expect to receive from others. To be trusted and respected, you need to be reliable. The concept of trust, respect, and reliability are not valid only for the people involved in the community, but are extended to the products as well. By being a reliable member and by doing reliable and respected work, the outcome should automatically translate into great products that everyone can trust.

4.3 — Openness

The TYPO3 Community defines itself as inclusive. Not exclusive, but open and without barriers of any type. The openness that characterizes the community is directed at people and their backgrounds, opinions within the community and outside, the outside world, other teams and groups, and the market and its changes. Openness also relates to communication. Remember that open communication fosters the community's growth and health in an environment where everyone knows what's happening and what will happen.

4.4 — Sharing

An open source environment is characterized by collaboration. The TYPO3 Project sees collaboration as the sharing of knowledge, work, and support within teams and between teams, among people, and to the outside world. Sharing is improving, and collaboration enhances the efficient use of resources, knowledge, and ideas. Whenever possible, work with others and support them. Work transparently.

4.5 — Additional Values of the TYPO3 Association

The Association is a part of the TYPO3 Project, and we have defined additional values that we think are mandatory in the whole TYPO3 Community.

Of those values, we think the following are lived by today:

  • Empathy & Understanding — The ability to put oneself in the perspective of others and to understand their needs and points of view facilitates cooperation. Especially if a person is going through hard times, we try to be helpful and supportive and have an understanding of their situation.
  • Freedom — Everybody should be able to choose where and how to contribute to the various TYPO3 projects or teams.
  • Patience — As not every contributor is on the same knowledge level, we help people to rise above their impediments and patiently try to teach, where knowledge is missing.
  • Exchange — We support the open exchange of knowledge and opinions in the TYPO3 Community. As a good starting point, we encourage everyone to participate in discussions on talk.typo3.org.
  • Tolerance — We value and promote tolerance and diversity in the TYPO3 community. We are the point of contact for disagreements and possible conflicts that counteract this in the community.
  • Community — The Community is one of the biggest assets of TYPO3 and its stakeholders and users. We foster the growth of the Community to ensure that it endures and grows vital and vibrant. 

The following values need to be developed further:

  • Engagement — We want to foster continuous engagement in the various community projects. While one-time contributions are also welcome, securing continued engagement, especially from younger community members, is a challenge we must address.
  • Reliability — If somebody would like to contribute to the various TYPO3 projects, they are free to do so. However, all community members should be aware of the need for reliability inherent in their chosen tasks. Other people from the community, or even from the TYPO3 Association, may be relying on them. We need to make sure that promises made are also kept.
  • Focus — In the past, especially in areas of product development around TYPO3, many well-intentioned side projects were created that did not necessarily focus on the core product and services. Often, these side projects have been inherited by other community members, who had to take care of them. The goals set by the TYPO3 strategy should be the primary focus — side quests should only be considered after close examination.
  • Agility — The web development market is rapidly changing. The TYPO3 Association should support the community in adapting to the constantly changing requirements in an agile manner and in implementing these in community projects. Possible ways to do this could be to organize short courses on certification, talks on current project management methods, or requirements engineering techniques.
  • Humility — When dealing with others, we should remember that all people in the community are equal. Nobody is better than the other. Arrogance and haughtiness does not belong in the TYPO3 Community. Be kind and humble, or, to quote Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, “Be humble, be hungry, and always be the hardest worker in the room.”
  • Innovation — We want to embrace innovation. As we mentioned in the goals of the strategy, we are just getting started.

These are some action items and ideas for how to develop these values. How these will be carried out is yet to be determined.

  • Diversity talks or presentations
  • Leadership trainings
  • A community contract
  • Non-violent communication trainings
  • Strategy follow-up sessions
  • Accountability processes

We are open to additional suggestions from the TYPO3 Community.

5 — Goals and Objectives

The following goals and objectives for the TYPO3 Association are a result of our strategy process. They are continuously revised and adapted by participants from the TYPO3 Association Board, strategy program manager Ric van Westhreenen, and external consultant Patricia Moock from 4L Impact Strategies.

The following objectives and tasks have come out of the strategy process and are based on an initial SWOT analysis. They refer explicitly to the TYPO3 Association. 

Additional goals and tasks were examined with regard to their possible and meaningful  implementation, and, if necessary, moved to the of TYPO3 GmbH and aligned with their strategy.

In order to keep up with the changing market and the resulting changes in requirements, goals, and tasks, we agreed to review these goals at least once a year, but preferably on an ongoing basis, and adapt them in an agile manner. 

Consequences for non-compliance and insufficient delivery will be defined by the board.

5.1 — Enable Independence and Growth Through Long-Term Strategic Fundraising

Fundraising will enable the TYPO3 Association to innovate and expand the user base in the face of changing market conditions and developing demands on the TYPO3 product. 

The funding for TYPO3 is divided into three goals (with sub-goals):

  • Funding from the increase of TYPO3 Association memberships
  • Funding from participation in government and international funding programs
    • Form strategic alliances
    • Link with product development process and strategy process
    • Project management and delivery structures
  • Funding for the development of public-private-partnerships, independent business, and local communities around TYPO3 in the Global South.
    • Define projects that can gain funding 
    • Create a Common Interest Group 

Note: The monetary values have been removed from fundraising goals in the public version of this strategy.

In order to guarantee our goal of long-term independence in the spirit of open source, the TYPO3 Association does not seek to generate a budget through venture capital.


Responsible: The board member responsible for fundraising. 

Action items for all board members: Each board member should prepare a plan to increase funding (with the beginning of their board period). The overall plan and targeting of certain members should be discussed in dedicated board meetings. 

Controlling: The follow-through of the plan and achievements is discussed in board meetings, at least once per quarter. A board member will be assigned the task of controlling.

5.2 — Improving Governance

The implementation and improvement of governance best practices is another important goal of the strategy for the TYPO3 Association.

A strong community has developed around the TYPO3 software product. It has formed through collaboration and shared experiences, often at events. This TYPO3 community, characterized by friendship, has managed to pursue common interests even among competing market participants (agencies, freelancers, universities, corporates and governmental institutions). They have continuously developed the product and associated services together and established them on the market.

In order to successfully strengthen the market for TYPO3 and related services in the future, we see that a reliance only on friendship is not sufficient to create a foundation for further professionalization.

Unpopular decisions are sometimes necessary, but they must be made, communicated, and implemented by the TYPO3 Association in a professional manner. This requires an improvement in governance.

The following goals have been defined to improve governance:

  • Introduce a governance model for official bodies (teams, committees, board, etc.) that includes:
    • Consensus-driven decisions, professional communication, and consequence management.
    • Documented processes.
    • Establishing and educating about values and leadership principles in the community.
    • Establishing clear differentiation between teams, groups, committees, and other bodies.
    • Establishing a decision culture.
    • Educating about our Code of Conduct.
  • Introduce a transparent communication model through:
    • Trust-building and compliance with clear and unbiased regulations.
    • Addressing and answering difficult questions.
    • Better, formalized decision documentation.
  • Establish a risk, fraud, bribery, and corruption aversion process.
  • Establish governance onboarding including models and methods.

As a special objective, we see the need for a standardized process for whistleblowing in order to be able to take action at an early stage in the event of deviations, irregularities, breaches of the law, compliance violations, or discrimination.


Responsible: Each board member is responsible to be compliant and to follow the governance mechanisms and processes. The board member responsible for Ethics, Compliance, and Governance is responsible for the concept of the strategic goals and can assign execution to the GmbH, BCC, teams, external support, etc. The person is also responsible for exchange of information with other stakeholders. The person will present the roadmap for the prioritized items in a board meeting.

Action items for all board members: Each board member should read and understand the code of conduct, risk management, and conflict of interest documents. Every board member is responsible for fine-tuning these documents. The owner of the documents is the board member responsible for Ethics, Compliance and Governance

Controlling: The progress of the plan and related achievements are reported in a board meeting, at least once per quarter. Responsible for controlling is board member responsible for Ethics, Compliance and Governance.

5.3 — Protecting the Trademark and Enforcing the Brand

TYPO3 has been a registered trademark for many years, but we are seeing an increasing number of attempts at exploiting it (see: General Assembly 2023). The TYPO3 Association is continuing to enforce its trademark rights.

Some of the TYPO3 community is using the brand as a springboard for the marketing of their own services — often without regard to their membership status in the TYPO3 Association.

Competitors offering other systems and services misuse the TYPO3 brand in negative brand communication (e.g. “TYPO3 killer”) and misrepresented statements (e.g. “TYPO3 has a bad UI”).

The TYPO3 Association therefore considers the following goals for the TYPO3 brand to be indispensable:

  • Protect the TYPO3 trademark by:
    • Actively going after the misuse of TYPO3 membership badges
    • Actively invest in and register domains (eg. typo3.berlin) and/or top-level domains (xyz.typo3).
    • Establish trademark and brand training.
    • Map and manage brand and trademark risks.
  • Raise brand awareness by:
    • Defining a brand strategy.
    • Finding metrics to measure brand awareness.
    • Strengthening the trademark and brand policy.

As an example of a possible measure to secure and strengthen the TYPO3 brand, a compulsory training or webinar for TYPO3 Association members is being considered. 


Responsible: The board member responsible for Trademark is responsible for the concept of the strategic goals and can assign execution to the GmbH, BCC, teams, external support, etc. The person is also responsible for the exchange of information and communication to other stakeholders and connecting parts. The person will present the roadmap for the prioritized items in a board meeting.

Action items for all board members: Each Board member should read and understand the trademark documents. Every Board member is responsible for the fine-tuning of those documents. The owner of the documents is the board member responsible for Trademark

Controlling: The follow through of the plan and achievements is reported in a board meeting, at least once per quarter. Responsible for controlling is board member responsible for Trademark.

5.4 — Strengthening the Innovation Process and Product Ownership

Historically, the further development of TYPO3 was often driven by a developer's vision and, as Kasper Skårhøj has said it: “[to] scratch your own itch”. As a result, some past development tasks were carried out multiple times and were not prioritized in a way that was comprehensible to end users. Developer happiness seemed to be the primary goal.

TYPO3 has a great opportunity to become more welcoming and beginner-friendly.

Therefore, the TYPO3 Association board sees the need to open up a transparent innovation process.

Let Us Learn to Innovate

One of the main goals for this innovation process is to develop a basic understanding and knowledge of how ideation, innovation, and product development should work. It is a must for Association bodies and leaders of committees and teams (especially those involved in product development for TYPO3 CMS), but we should also educate a wider audience, such as members of the TYPO3 Association and our community at large.

The members are an integral part of ongoing product and service development, and the sub goals are not nice-to-haves, but rather must-haves. Completing membership surveys could become a mandatory requirement to retain certain partnership and membership levels. The exact design, possible requirements, and non-compliance consequences will have to be defined.

To carry out the whole educational part of the ideation and innovation training, we see the role of an Innovation Manager arise in the TYPO3 GmbH.

A Standard and Transparent Process for Idea Development

As mentioned above, the innovation and development process of TYPO3 CMS and its surrounding services is only visible to the small number of people actively participating. 

We believe the entire TYPO3 ecosystem will benefit from a change in this situation. We would like to clearly define the innovation process and increase the access to and involvement in it for users, developers, and TYPO3 Association members. 

These are sub goals towards this goal: 

  • Establish Requirements Engineering techniques to identify basic needs, performance needs, and especially delighters for our products.
  • Create a collection of Jobs-to-be-Done in a portfolio. 
  • Create a standard and easy process for collecting new ideas, especially from editors, end-customers, and other non-developers.
  • Activate commercialization processes within the TYPO3 GmbH.
  • Define a process to terminate projects and processes that are no longer helping us reach our goals.
  • Implement the innovation process in the development cycles.
  • Define faster maintenance and update cycles (e.g. overnight) that fulfill market expectations.

Further goals are: 

  • The establishment of innovation artifacts
    • Creating space for innovation days, camps and hackathons 
  • Embracing innovative approaches and profiting from things we learned before.
  • Establish innovation processes also outside of product-related items.

To reach these goals, we see the necessity of multiple and connected roles such as, TYPO3 Association Board members, the already mentioned Innovation Manager, and a possible Developer Relations Manager. These roles and persons should take part in regular, monthly stakeholder and decision-making meetings that should also provide insights from the TYPO3 community.


Responsible: The board member responsible for the Product is responsible for the concept of the strategic goals and can assign tasks to the GmbH, BCC, teams, external support, etc. The person is also responsible for the exchange of information and communication to other stakeholders and external partners. The person will present the roadmap for the prioritized items in a board meeting. The person reports monthly to the rest of the board on the progress. 

Action items for all board members: Each board member should read and understand the product strategy documents. The owner of the documents is the board member responsible for the Product

Controlling: The progress of the plan and achievements is reported in a board meeting, at least once per quarter. Responsible for controlling is the Board at large.

5.5 — Enabling Informed Decisions

Long-term transfer of expertise to customers, users, and decision makers will be an important topic for the TYPO3 Association and its members. It is also important beyond our community.

In a best-case scenario, we should be able to work preemptively on educating non-technical users — especially decision makers — about the importance of open source and related benefits, such as digital sovereignty. We see that large tech companies have a strong influence on how personal data and content is created, used, and distributed across the web and that they tailor it to fit their commercial interests. 

As an example, the Cyber Resilience Act (September 2022) in the EU is primarily intended to increase security in the use of software and hardware to seal them off from cyberattacks. Here, it is immediately necessary to familiarize the legislative and executive bodies with the open-source theory and practice, its importance for the internet, and its possibilities and limitations.

We see the opportunity to lead, learn from, and collaborate with other organizations (e.g. other FOSS CMSs, eco Association, Open Source Initiative, OpenForum Europe, etc.) Working with them will benefit open source software in general, and thus also TYPO3.

We will intensify our efforts to reach out and connect with organizations in the free and open source (FOSS) community at large. We see every TYPO3 Association board member actively reaching out. Additional roles might arise in the future, and will be assigned in the TYPO3 Association board.


Responsible: The board member responsible for promoting informed decisions is responsible for the concept of the strategic goals and can assign execution to the GmbH, BCC, Teams, external support, etc. The person is also responsible for the exchange of information and communication to other stakeholders and connected parties. The person will present the roadmap for the prioritized items in a board meeting. The person reports on progress to the rest of the Board on a monthly basis. 

Action items for all board members: Each board member should read and understand TYPO3’s views and narrative around the importance of open source and its connected challenges, such as digital sovereignty. The owner of the documents is the board member responsible for promoting informed decisions

Controlling: The progress of the plan and achievements is reported in a board meeting, at least once per quarter. The board at large is responsible for controlling.

5.6 — Principles

  • Professional work and collaboration
  • Always aimed at reaching the goals
  • Balancing

During the strategy development process we want to expand these principles for TYPO3 CMS, related services and the TYPO3 association with additional principles:

  • Agile principles: We want to prioritize individuals and interactions, working software, team collaboration, and responding to change over rigid processes and comprehensive documentation, enabling iterative and flexible developments of all kinds.
  • JTBD theory: The Jobs-to-be-Done (JTBD) theory is a framework that focuses on understanding the underlying motivations and needs of customers, emphasizing that people “hire” products or services to get a job done, rather than solely focusing on product features or customer demographics.

Any questions? Ask them here: