Suzanne Bowen Interviews Leif Madsen, Asterisk Rockstar

Today I had the privilege to be interviewed by Suzanne Bowen of DIDX.

You can find the interview at

Hope you enjoy!

Here is a description of the interview:

“Truth is that I “met” the authors of the book “Asterisk, the Future of Telephony” when I was an English teacher and had volunteered over email to help edit the documentation. It was a joy to interview Leif Madsen. The Asterisk rockstar* shares with us the history of how he became interested in voice, telephony, Asterisk and open source.

We discussed the “cliques or special interest groups” in telecommunications, in fact three. 1. Old style, keep it closed, don’t share, beat the competition, sell it at an inflated price, and it’s all about the money. 2. It should all be free and if you are not offering it free, you’re not one of us. 3. With a happy medium area of those who realize that people do need a paycheck to take care of their lives. At the same time, be willing to give back in an open source manner. Like a compromise!

Advice for entrepreneurs… Leif says he’s more a technical guy but he definitely did not want to work for someone else and being in your own business assures that. You must create content that is of value to other people. For him, it worked with his documentation projects such as the O’Reilly book and he’s now a successful Asterisk consultant and author.

Websites he uses most? and Twitter! Also Asterisk IRC channel.

Who inspires Leif Madsen? James Shaw, his friend since age 17 when Leif took Jim’s place working on at a computer store. Second one is Jim Van Meggelen. Leif describes him as a guy who can make you laugh and enjoy life, not a workoholic, and a good example for public speaking.

What do people ask him most often about the O’Reilly book? When are you going to write a new version? And that’s tough because Asterisk is progressing fast with changes by the second.

Leif will be at Astricon Oct 13-15, 2009 in Glendale. He will be speaking 10 AM on Oct. 14, 2009. He usually attends IT360 in Toronto every year. You can learn from him, contact him, do business with him at

You can listen to other podcast interviews on DIDX podcasts at