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From Cransto...@aol.com
Subject Re: incorporating? (was: Copyright & donating code)
Date Sun, 24 Jan 1999 17:23:30 GMT
In a message dated 1/24/99 12:43:55 PM MST, jim@jaguNET.com writes:

<< Our reasons for incorporating are simple:
 
   1. to provide the legal protection to the Apache "brand." Right now
      their are people and companies using the Apache name without
      our approval. That's not right.

>> Correct. It isn't right, but that's the way you started out. FREE. Now all
of a sudden you are faced with protecting the brand. Windows is a brand and
look what Microsoft does to protect it. Do you know what it costs to protect a
brand especially one as well recognized as Apache? The letter writing alone
will drive you nuts. Delegate it…….sure but then you are no longer in charge.
That's why you don't let suits near a compiler.
 
   2. to provide an avenue for people and companies to contribute to
      the effort. This is a real-world problem. There are such people
      and companies that wish to help, and are unable because there's no
      real legal entity to ``contribute'' to.

>> This dovetails nicely into 1. above. You now have to define the "barrier's
to entry". Just as the mantra with the telco's is "protect the switch", yours
will be "protect the Apache brand". You do this with strong copyright notices,
patents, and trademarks. Now how do people "value add to the brand" that you
built? and do they share in the success in a monetary fashion, or "for just a
good feeling?". These are all "branching statements" that require much thought
and much debate. Whilst you might be up for the debate, what do you do best,
CODE or manage a software company?

Let me give you an example. I watched the recent update to mod_negotiation by
the gentleman from CERN. My first question is, "Was a vote taken to include
this new patch?". I don't believe it was, and from the threads it has caused
one or two conflicts. Now my second question, "Was this patch thoroughly
tested before the release of 1.3.4?" Kind of rhetorical because if it had of
been then Roy and the gentleman from CERN would not be in a big debate as to
the merits of it's problems. 

These are in one respect coding/programming problems which you are all
eminently qualified to answer, however the management question is "should the
patch even have been included because of the XXX statements". What if the
management at Apache, Inc., decides to stop the process because they want to
protect the brand and send you back to the compilers, are you ready to be told
NO.  
 
   3. to provide some measure of ``respect'' to the Apache Group. Nowadays
      there is the impression in the journalistic community that AG is
      a group of unshaven nerds sitting around in their underwear drinking
      Jolt or Gin &Tonics and coding. That may be true, but at least when we
      incorporate we'll be board members who are unshaven nerds sitting
      around in their underwear drinking Jolt or Gin &Tonics and coding :) :)
  

>> The Apache Group already has a large measure of respect. You don't run 50+%
of the world's web servers because you produce bad software. The real question
is can you really continue to compete in today's market place as a loose knit
band of great programmers without the protection that a corporation can offer?

Do you really want to sit on a board of directors? Are you even qualified to
sit on a board of directors? If you think this is "nasty" question, it's the
same as me if I am qualified to be a programmer. Sure I could learn but would
I never be as good as you guy's, not in a month of Sunday's. Board members are
core to the success of a company. They are comprised of thoughtful,
intelligent people from different walks of life with a bunch of experience.
They are there to be the conscience of the company to help direct it and the
CEO. The most important thing to a CEO and the Board members is the
SHAREHOLDERS. NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING else matters. These people take
there job's very seriously. Which if you think about it for a minute is
exactly what you want. You really just want to be programmers, let the suits
protect the brand. Don't tell the suits how to run the company, and don't let
them tell you how to program, but you must learn to listen to each other.

Remember "Judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad
judgement".

Yours sincerely,


Peter J. Cranstone
Cranstone@RemoteCommunications.com



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