The Nextcloud mission and principles

Originally published at:

Nextcloud is more than 3 years old. For the founding team, including myself, it was very important to create a company and open source project that has some principles, some moral standard and goals. This should not be just another company which only exists to generate money. We want to do the ‘right thing’ and have a positive effect on the world. After three years of mainly listening to our gut feeling, at the last contributor week we decided to formalize these values more and agreed on the following.

Our Mission

We develop software for decentralized and federated clouds as alternative to centralized cloud services.

It is short, but there is a lot packed in this. First of all, we believe that the world is better when data, applications and IT in general are decentralized and not controlled by a few big companies. It also says that we develop software. We don’t run a cloud service or host the data of users. This is not our business. We focus on creating the software to enable others to run a service, either for themselves or for others.

Our principles

  • Sustainability
    We build a sustainable company, aiming for long term stability, not a short term sale. So no growth at all cost: protect people, society and the environment.
  • Privacy and security
    We believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right of secure communication. It’s the main motivation behind all our products
  • User-centered design
    We honor people’s time and mental load. That is why we make Nextcloud easy to use.
  • Trust
    We trust each other to have shared goals and make decisions based on it. This enables remote and flexible work and decentralized, collaborative decision making over most things.
  • Open Source
    Everything we do is 100% open source. We do not do open core or proprietary extensions.
  • Open Standards
    We use and support open standards as much as possible. We don’t lock people in to proprietary formats. You can import and export everything.
  • Decentralisation
    We are building decentralized products as alternatives to centralized platforms. People can choose what they want and where they want it.
  • Community
    Working in the open with a broad community leads to better results. We trust our community and empower them to take ownership over what they contribute to and have as much access to and control over as legally and practically possible.
  • Inclusion and diversity
    Diverse teams and communities make us better and more innovative. We support people marginalized in open source to get involved and thrive.
  • Accessibility
    Accessibility is a fundamental human right and technology should be accessible to everyone.

These are the goals and principles we want to follow at Nextcloud. Read our about page and let me know what you think! Feedback is very welcome.

Frank Karlitschek, CEO of Nextcloud


Hello @frank ,

Thank you for this blog post and for providing some insights into the project’s goals. But I don’t just want to thank you for just a few written words in a blog post.
Most of all and foremost, I want to let you know about the highest amount of thankfulness and the huge appreciation I feel;
… for this awesome project and for following these highly noble principles with this ambitious project.

It seems there are often some critical voices out there, for whom new features are not good enough, development is not fast enough and reactions of Devs in forums not often enough - at least I got the impression. And I think they just don’t understand what you are really achieving here and providing to all the people. And when I say you, I mean you, the hole Nextcloud team and the active Nextcloud community.
All you guys are doing a great, honorable and in my opinion very noble job!

Please never stop pushing forward as you did in the last three years!

I can’t stress that out enough or say that too often; and I don’t speak only for myself but many more people (especially the completely silent ones :smiley:):

Done :slight_smile:

Could someone please pass on my thanks to the developers, in case they don’t read the responses here?


Part of the mostly silent ones, and a happy user of NC since version 12, I at least want to join Schmu and also THANK YOU for this great and well developing project: so usefull, not only in terms of functionality but also a huge contribution to equity and democracy on the net and overall.
Thank you also for having led me to learn much new things by coping with the management of my personal cloud.


I, too, would like to extend thanks to the developers working on this project. When I first discovered NextCloud, I wasn’t sure how full-featured it would really be, or if I’d even want to keep using it on my home server. But I was hooked from the first time I successfully got it running and pulled up its main web page. It exceeded my expectations. Not only did it have a lot of capabilities, but the UI looked clean and professional too! (That’s been my never-ending complaint with a lot of open source software. It may be rock solid and have good functionality, but it’s often cumbersome to configure and use, or the UI looks amateur or lacks polish.)

As I posted elsewhere on this forum already? I’d really like to see someone take on the challenge of building good message forum software as a plug-in application for NextCloud. I’ve seen that requested many times, and it seems to be generally ignored as “not really on the developer roadmap”. Reading this core mission statement? I understand that completely … but thinking it would still be a great project for some other team that enjoys writing add-ons for the main package? Either way, I’m happy to run NextCloud for the functionality it does focus on.


Thanks everyone for the kind words. Nextcloud is team-work from a big community where everyone can be part of. Let’s together keep on pushing this ideas forward. And maybe we can make the world a little bit better.