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From Kimbro Staken <ksta...@dbxmlgroup.com>
Subject Re: Volunteers needed: Reboot of the XML 'PMC'. re: Arved's comment
Date Fri, 02 Mar 2001 22:19:39 GMT
Ted Leung wrote:
> There are companies out there, most notably Covalent, that are
> making these kinds of efforts using ASF code.   In the webserver domain,
> both IBM and Oracle are now using httpd as the base for their application
> server products.  I think that Apache has done pretty well without getting
> directly involved in marketing.

Except you already are directly involved in marketing. Every time
somebody puts a powered by Apache logo on their web site, that is
marketing. Every time you send a new product announcement to a mailing
list, that is marketing. I don't think anyone is suggesting that the ASF
should start buying advertising space in Computerworld. That isn't the
point, what is the point is that you want the ASF XML project to grow.
And to grow you need to get more people to use the software that you are
producing. To get more people to use your software you need to do
marketing, marketing in the open source world is not the same as
marketing for a for profit company but that doesn't change the fact that
it is still marketing. Your goal isn't to make money it is simply to get
more users and more developers so that you can build more great

> I see a direct analog to Linux.  The Linux kernel hackers don't market or do
> any of the business stuff - they leave that up to companies like RedHat,
> Mandrake, SUSE, etc.   I think that we're in a similar situation.   I don't
> think
> it's to the ASF's interest to be viewed as a vendor.

Again I posit that you are already a vendor you simply do not consider
your self a vendor. I use the software developed by the ASF and I
consider myself to be a customer and you to be a vendor. Just because no
money changed hands doesn't mean this relationship does not exist. You
may say that you are not obligated to provide support or any other
services and in strict terms that is true. However, just like a
traditional business if you do not provide support after the "sale"(i.e.
download) as it were you too will go out of "business". BTW, I think you
guys provide great support so don't get me wrong here.

> We already had major political problems at the inception of xml.apache.org
> because
> of the involvement of too many big companies.  Becoming one ourselves will
> only
> create more problems.

Once again you are already a business, you just don't perceive your self
to be one. For on thing the ASF is a Non-profit corporation so from that
perspective your are legally a corporation. More practically though, you
are in the business of creating software (product) for consumption by
developers (customers) in exchange for feature requests, bug reports and
development help (payment or revenue). The organization grows and
prospers by having more and better software created (profits) then it
loses to dead projects and bit rot(costs). Product, customers and
revenue - costs = profits sounds like a business to me. To increase your
profits so you can create more product you must increase your revenue
which means you must increase your customer base and how do businesses
usually do that ... marketing. It's all a matter of perception and how
you think of your self. 

Kimbro Staken
Chief Technology Officer
dbXML Group L.L.C

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