SPUG: Seattle Perl Consortium

Brian Ingerson ingy at ttul.org
Thu Aug 5 17:08:02 CDT 2004

This a very interesting thread. But email threads eventually die. We probably
need to meet in person (for some definition of we). In the meantime I've set


Let's see where this goes.

Cheers, Brian

On 03/08/04 10:44 -0700, Jonathan Gardner wrote:
> 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 
> expanding.
> 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 
> consultants.
> 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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