[Pdx-pm] An interesting idea this way comes

Jonathan Gardner jgardner at jonathangardner.net
Fri Aug 6 15:54:35 CDT 2004

On Friday 06 August 2004 01:16 pm, T. William Schmidt wrote:
> > >>>>> "Josh" == Josh Heumann <perl-pm at joshheumann.com> writes:
> >
> >Josh> The Seattle Perl Users Group has been batting about this idea
> >proposed by
> >Josh> one of their members.  Here is the email.  What do people think
> >about this
> >Josh> sort of think?  We have a lot of Perl People in Portland...
> >
> >This is exactly what Stonehenge is setting up to do (and has been
> >doing, to a lesser extent).  And yes, I need a bit of profit to cover
> >my overhead, but I wanna make a tiny profit on a lot of people, if a
> >lot of people are interested.
> >
>  From the consultants point of view, I think we are all looking for the
> Bob Kipe's of the IT world, but when they are in their hungry stage.  I
> want someone to market ME to prospects, not see me as a possible match to
> some arbitrary set of skills.
> So, it does make some sense for consultants to consider how they might
> organize their collective resources to hire a marketer with the right
> stuff to work for them.  
> I once tried to hire someone to market just me but there just was not
> enough money in it for both of us.  The Seattle proposal is both
> interesting and very ambitious.  Ambitious because it focuses on Perl so
> in addition to the usual problem of marketing talent, it intends to
> evangelize Perl.  I wish them well and will stay tuned, and perhaps the
> marketing right-stuff includes in depth knowledge of why Perl is better. 
> In a perfect world it would either not be necessary or if it is, it would
> work.  I am still hoping to find another Bob Kipe.

First off, to comment about Stonehenge, my impression was that it  was just 
another company. I had a prejudice that they would shrinkwrap software and 
if I got hired there I would just be another engineer slaving away in the 
corner. The reality may be very different. Especially hearing what Randall 
said above, I may look more at the Stonehenge.

Second, I heard the echo of people's thoughts in the PostgreSQL community. 
"Why won't people use PostgreSQL on their core applications? We have 
everything they need - we are even better than the competitors! What keeps 
us out?" "Well, they are looking for three things: Effective advertising, 
Great software, and great support. We can only supply the software." "What 
if all of us consultants got together and organized so that we can 
advertise for and support these huge contracts together?" Silence as a 
hundred minds ponder.

The same thought was buzzing through the Perl community. "Why is Java 
and .Net kicking our butts?" "Well, people are looking for three 
things: ..."

The idea has two points that really hit home. The "Got milk?" part is 
advertising Open Source software to the right audience. "Got milk?" goes to 
the kids on TV. Our advertising will hit Forbes magazine and say, "Have you 
saved a hundred million dollars like the Jones' did by using OS software?" 
We will also fund studies and reports and conferences and show up on CNN 
and say, "Why yes Bob, when we first heard about XYZ and the way they had 
used Open Source, we were surprised our selves. They are saving nearly a 
billion dollars over the next ten years in licensing costs alone."

The second point is banding together common interests without enslaving them 
into a corporate work environment. You are a consultant. In my heart, I am 
a consultant. I want to be free to do what I like, to make as much money as 
the client is willing to pay, and to work on whatever fancies me. The 
consultant consortium could provide the resources needed to land huge 
contracts and provide the resources we need to execute them efficiently. 
Things like accountants, salespeople, account managers, help desks, 24/7 
support call centers and staff, legal departments, etc... All these are 
things we want someone else to do because we stink at it.

Now what to do about it? I am having a meeting tentatively on Thursday at my 
home to discuss what to do to organize the "Got milk?" part. I would 
encourage the pdx-pm people to send a representative or two up. I am 
personally interested about Stonehenge.

The business side will come after we get the advocacy part running and 
generating interest. We can talk more about details on that later.

Jonathan Gardner
jgardner at jonathangardner.net

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