[asterisk-users] Fwd: Do you know how Asterisk came to be?

Steve Totaro stotaro at asteriskhelpdesk.com
Thu Mar 8 10:28:48 CST 2012

Apologies for the top post, something is screwed up with my email client,
will fix it soon.

What a BS story that I have debunked many times.  A used Key System could
be purchased for a few hundred dollars, a much better investment then
writing your own PBX from scratch.

A company that is supposed to provide linux services wasting it's time on
such a huge undertaking would go under very quickly.  Where is the revenue

Adtran was behind it from the start.  I have posted about this and it can
be found with other comments to provide more backing.  After making my
theory on the list, a former employee of digium who did actual hardware and
firmware  engineering verified my theory (anonymous for now, I don't
remember if he gave me permission to use his name but Mark will certainly
know M.P.)


Then this took place several years later which made things concrete in my


There are a few articles that address my theory and back it up with
more evidence.

Also, check google maps for the offices of Digium and Adtran, unless they
moved, they were next door neighbors practically.

Shady stories like this cast a shadow over the reputation of Digium.  I
appreciate all that Digium has done but let's be realistic, the story is BS
and they are broadcasting it.  My duty is to call out BS for what it is.

Same deal with Vyatta and Cisco, just do some digging.

Steve T

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Shea Caughron <scaughron at digium.com>
Date: Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 8:20 AM
Subject: Do you know how Asterisk came to be?
To: stotaro at asteriskhelpdesk.com

View this email on your mobile device or

Origin stories<http://app.email.digium.com/e/er?s=491&lid=1190&elq=816d47c4aa404f27ae6a0f05a7415092>are
all the rage these days, and while perhaps the origin of Asterisk
as exciting as the genesis of Wolverine, it’s still a pretty interesting

Way back in 1999, Mark Spencer had just started Linux Support Services
(LSS), an innovative small business that offered support for the Linux
operating system.  This was the height of the “Dot Com” era, and many
start-up businesses were taking advantage of the open source operating
system.  LSS took off, and as it grew, Mark found that he needed a phone

Back in those days, phone systems were 100-percent proprietary.  They were
also expensive.  Not wanting to take out a loan for a phone system he would
probably outgrow in a matter of months, Mark decided to build his own PBX.
Unlike proprietary phone systems,* Mark’s solution was flexible software
that took advantage of the power (and price point) of Linux*. Mark named
the project “Asterisk,” a reference to the wildcard character.

Within a year, the Dot-com bubble popped and the demand for Linux support
dried up.  Fortunately for Mark, interest in his software PBX had
exploded.  Linux Support Services quickly pivoted to focus on the growing
demand for hardware and services related to Asterisk.  The groundswell of
interest in an open source telephony system grew into the Asterisk
Community with thousands of developers and users who pitched in, providing
patches, enhancements and valuable feedback. What started as a pragmatic
solution to a cash-flow problem, turned into a revolution.

By 2003, the business had been renamed “Digium” and was well on its way to
becoming the *world’s leading purveyor of telephony interface hardware*.

In the nearly 13 years since Mark released the initial Asterisk code, the
PBX market has undergone a massive shift.  *Open standards now rule* what
was once a proprietary market.  Expensive, limited proprietary PBX hardware
has given way to commodity computers running powerful software.  Digium has
grown from being a niche player to competing with the biggest names in the
PBX market.

So, there you have it.  That’s how it all started.  By the way, if you have
an interesting story about how
other open source software changed your life, we would love to hear

 Shea Caughron
Digium, Inc. | Customer Development Manager
+1 256-428-6190 Check us out at
Follow <http://app.email.digium.com/e/er?s=491&lid=532&elq=816d47c4aa404f27ae6a0f05a7415092>
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