SPUG: Seattle Perl Consortium

Bill Campbell bill at celestial.com
Tue Aug 3 15:55:47 CDT 2004

On Tue, Aug 03, 2004, Tim Maher wrote:
>On Tue, Aug 03, 2004 at 10:44:58AM -0700, Jonathan Gardner wrote:
>> I have a proposal  ...
>> 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.
>(I think that last sentence is an unnecessary stretch, that
>undermines the proposal -- especially since Sun is only a shadow
>of its former self at this point -- so I'll ignore this part of
>an otherwise good proposal, and respond generally.)
>I think there's a lot of merit to this idea, and I've heard of
>other groups of consultants profiting by banding together in
>various forms.
>In fact, I've been thinking that "Perlity" (my pet term for the
>Perl Community) would benefit from a "Perl Professional
>Institute", that does for the whole world of Perl some of what
>you're proposing we do on a local basis -- most especially, act
>as a liaison to businesses who want to learn more about Perl,
>help market the language, find out what businesses like and
>disklike about Perl, what their misunderstandings about it are,
>and basically "put a face" on the language.

I've often thought that some kind of organization that could hand the
billing, accounting, and administrivia of consultants might work, charging
a percentage of the billing to cover costs.

The biggest hurdle most consultants have to get over is probably the sales
and marketing side.  Many people are great technically, but are either
afraid to sell, don't have the ``people skills'' necessary to handle that
part of the business, etc.  Another side of this is that it's very hard to
balance the time spent doing billable work with the sales and
administrative things.  One can get a big contract, work like crazy, then
have a long dry spell while getting additional sales.

Generally ``union'' and/or ``certification'' efforts are most often these
are used to reduce competition amongst the guild members.  Carroll Quigley
put this well in his tome, ``Tragedy and Hope''describing the collusion of
monopoly manufacturers and organized labor to increase their profits at the
expense of unorganized consumers.

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