"We're in this for the long haul. We think it's going to be a big company. We're not trying to make a quick buck and then get out.

Some community members have also worried about the pressure on a business to make money, and how that will affect CM at large. "Right now, we're following the great Silicon Valley idea of 'get the users, and the money will come later'," says Kondik.

"We're in this for the long haul. We think it's going to be a big company. We're not trying to make a quick buck and then get out. We're trying to build something important. There's too much time, and too many emotions from too many people involved to give it anything less than what it deserves."

Gaining ground

It's important for a project like CyanogenMod to remember the emotions and history that went into getting it to where it is today. When Kondik and Koush look back on the early days, they talk about the speed of growth and voracity of its contributors as though they're not quite sure it really happened.

CyanogenMod
The first official phone with Cyanogen Mod was the Oppo N1

"A few people had looked at different approaches to building on Android, but when I posted my version up, people seemed to really go crazy over it," says Kondik.

"It was really awesome because of how quick people were to try it out and give feedback on what's broken and what could be better. So I kept at it for a few months and more people started using it, more people started submitting patches and wanted to work on it. Koush got involved when the first Motorola Droid hit the shelves, porting CM to it."

"For a mass consumer release, 'CyanogenMod' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue."

"I recall the first year there was maybe only a dozen guys, and then I disappeared for a year, and I came back and there were a hundred guys," says Koush. "And then a year later there were 500, and now there's 2,000. It's just crazy. It's exponential growth for contributors and for users."

But despite all the changes that come from changing from a purely contributor and community-driven project to a well funded business, the team promises that the feel of CyanogenMod won't change.

CyanogenMod
Mascot Cid replaced the popular Andy Bugdroid

"A lot of the guys who were on the open source project were going to their day jobs and then hacking on CM for a long time, including myself," says Kondik.

"And now we just work on CM the whole time. But one thing that has not changed is working very, very late. Until 5 o'clock in the morning," he laughs. But is it the classic Silicon Valley startup with fun toys around the office? "We have a kegerator!" shouts Kondik, proudly.

"And a really nice coffee machine," adds Koush. "I think we're all on the same page; the office is somewhere you want to come into and work, so we don't do cubes. We have a really nice setup and design."

There is one thing that will change for CyanogenMod when it launches for a mainstream audience, though: the name. The team says that the company will still be called Cyanogen, and the open source project will keep its name, but for reaching a wider audience, the operating system will be called something new.

"Yeah, it's changing…" Koush chuckles. "At some point. For a mass consumer release, 'CyanogenMod' doesn't exactly roll off the tongue."