[Pdx-pm] An interesting idea this way comes

Josh Heumann perl-pm at joshheumann.com
Wed Aug 4 17:45:19 CDT 2004

The Seattle Perl Users Group has been batting about this idea proposed by
one of their members.  Here is the email.  What do people think about this
sort of think?  We have a lot of Perl People in Portland...

<quote who="Jonathan Gardner">

From: Jonathan Gardner jgardner at jonathangardner.net
Date: Tue Aug 3 12:44:58 CDT 2004

Many of use are perl consultants. We spend a great deal of time finding
clients and we just don't have the resources to prepare spiels or case
studies or advertising in the proper media. So we end up mostly as
parasites because we can't generate new projects and clients and we only
clean up where others have gone before. (I am speaking generally, of
course.) We see this because the current perl market is contracting, not

I have a proposal that many of you won't like and frankly, I don't think it
will work in its current working form. I'd like some input and ideas
positive or negative. If we could get it working, I think it will be a huge
benefit to all of us.

Some of the ideas I don't endorse, I am only putting them on the floor for
discussion because they have some merit.

Basically, we form a corporation called the Seattle Perl Consortium (SPC).
We have members who are perl consultants. They pay membership fees. We buy
advertising and we have a team of marketers and salespeople to convince the
PHBs that perl is the way to go with glossy handouts and snazzy powerpoint
presentations. The SPC acts like the marketing department for our small
consultancies. With enough members and a big enough budget, we should be
able to challenge anything Microsoft or Sun would do to market their stuff.

SPC could provide legal assistance, accounting assistance, business advice,
and misc. services. The idea is to move everything but perl work off of the
consultants into the SPC where people who specialize in that sort of thing
can do it properly and for far less than you would do it yourselves. (Going
rate for an accountant << going rate for experienced perl consultant).

SPC could provide on-call 24/7 service with a call center and on-call

SPC may be able to fund its own projects. For instance, if there is a need
for a specific piece of software, but no company is willing to fund it, but
it would be useful to all of the members of SPC, SPC may hire some of the
consultants to implement the project.

To smooth the market cycles, SPC may collect a hoard of cash that it will
use to employ the consultants during difficult times. Rather than compete
with the clients, SPC would wait to do its projects until the slow cycles.

SPC may also be a standards body, codifying best practices and technology to
make the work its members do consistent and unified.

SPC could provide services you'd find in a guild or a union. We could set
prices, establish accreditation, and help apprentices pair off with gurus.

SPC will be basically non-profit. All the profit from the actual work goes
into the pockets of the consultants, with perhaps a small cut to go back to
the SPC to fund more of its activities.

In the future, if this is successful, we can expand this into the Seattle
Open Source / Free Software Consortium, or maybe even a world-wide
organization with chapters in every major city.

Jonathan Gardner
jgardner at jonathangardner.net

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