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From Jim Jagielski <>
Subject Re: incorporating? (was: Copyright & donating code)
Date Sun, 24 Jan 1999 19:43:46 GMT
>In a message dated 1/24/99 8:53:33 AM MST, writes:
><< Oh: and I will mention one thing to the Apache Group: even a non-profit
> can do some BAD things to open source code. Non-profit doesn't
> necessarily mean "no revenue." What happens 20 years down the line when
> the new CEO of the Apache Group, Inc. wants to establish corporate
> headquarters in Manhattan? Oh, and then of course, there will be the
> commercial version of Apache so that the derived revenue can pay for the
> headquarters and the staff of 43... Be careful :-) >>
>Apache with the right management team in place could be the dominant force in
>the web server business. By dominant I mean 85% plus. People who use IIS
>simply remove the software and install Apache because it is SO much better.
>Here's how you do it. Get the top 10 Apache guys, organize them with decent
>salaries and give them one objective, TAKE NO PRISIONERS. Nothing motivates
>like success, and $$$. We are all capitalists at heart.
>Bottom line, either stay the same, or organize and rule. Gates DID it, Apache
>can to. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few years.
>I like many others read the Halloween memo. Gates is only worried in the short
>term. Long term he knows he can win, he has proven it time and time again. How
>does he do it. Superior management NOT superior code.
>I have a healthy respect for Apache and there core programmers, but their
>résumé's all state, Position: Programmer, not management.
>My advice, if you turn into a corporation, hire the best. As someone once
>said, if you think knowledge is expensive, wait and see how much ignorance
>costs you!

Well, I'm not speaking as one of the AG, but I'm fairly certain that many
and most probably all share my views...

Believe it or not, there are actually people and organizations where
making the almighty buck is secondary, or even lower. I can't imagine
such organizations as the American Cancer Society or the Christian
Children's Fund having the mindset "Take no prisoners!" I'm sure they
measure _their_ success by the number of people they help, rather than
the amount of money they line their pockets with. True, writing code
isn't in the same league as curing cancer or saving starving kids, but
why is it so unbelievable that the AG produces Apache because we want
to? WHY does everything have to boil down to money?

Anyone who was around the beginning of the 'Net knows that communal feeling;
that sense of people helping and contributing because it's cool and it
just feels good to do it. Sure, people get some real satisfaction out
of it and strokes their egos and for some people, maybe that's good enough.
Is that so hard to understand?

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.

  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.

  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 :) :)

If for Apache to rule AG would need to take business lessons from Gates
and Co., I don't think that success would be worth it. There is such a
thing as integrity. Apache succeeds _because_ Apache is kick-ass software.
Apache succeeds _because_ it's significantly better than anything else
out there. Apache succeeds _because_ we aren't in it for the money, or
because we have the Take No Prisoneer mindset... We don't have to fight
for the success; it just normally comes. People are pretty smart, after
all. :) :)

Does Mercedes or BMW need a "take no prisoners" sort of attitude? ;)

Jim Jagielski  << >>  |
    j a g u N E T   A c c e s s   S e r v i c e s,   L L C
       "Ah! I see you have the machine that goes Bing!"

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