“Imagine no possesions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
In a brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...”
The MySQL User Conference is going to start today UC 2011, I will not be there and that makes me sad, but have to deal with the work and some customer needs. I will not see many friends, I will not have the chance to discuss and propose my ideas. I will not be in the position to learn from discussion new things, but:
I want to wish to all of you my best for this conference, and I want to mention my last crazy dream …
I was thinking about this for far too long, and then I decide to write… not a long article or a huge technical blog, but a call for all colleagues to stop and think.
I have being working in international environment from 24 years now, and most of them I spent in working for international organization or Open Source Companies.
What I have always consider a privileges I had, was to be “on the right side” of the market. I was more focus on people and what they do and what they need, then how much money they were willing to pay.
When I join the MySQL “ecosystem”/company I had the feeling to join a company that was doing profit, but that was also keeping a good attitude, with employees and customer as well.
I am not going to open a discussion on what happened after, no my scope here. What I want to let you focus on is this simple point: “MySQL (and derivate) was and is a community product, based on the open source concept, based on the sharing and supporting each other concept”.
If the above is true, then what we should think of all those company using MySQL to make money and not providing any support to what they use for free?
There are out there a lot of companies that does nothing. Well actually they do something, a lot of money… saving sometime millions of $$$ using MySQL instead other products.
You can say that this is fine, and yes I agree it is, and it is good when they ask for support because will involve the community again.
But there is my problem, how we should behave with the companies that do nothing for the community, and in addition to that we discover to be also asshole companies? Very often happen that there are companies adopting MySQL not because they go for the OpenSouce model /philosophy, but only to save money.
In some extreme cases, they think open-source= free, they assume that any cent they spent in calling you to help, give them the right to behave as assholes with you.
It could be that it is only my problem, but I don’t like. I think that they should not be able to access the community resource without paying a penalty; Robert I. Sutton was proposing to (not exactly his words I am translating from Italian) “Send them away, not engage. If you cannot avoid them, then let them pay a fee … “.
The problem is how to define in a neutral/objective way who should be defined as such and who not. Here again the community could help, define a ROSTER of asshole companies (RAC), voting on submitted names, define a rank and proposing for a % of additional cost. It will up on us (company or singles) to accept or not to work with them, to apply the % in full or not.
It could be that this is just another crazy dream from my side?
Maybe I am an alien, thinking we can do things better, thinking that there is no need to be an asshole to be successful, and thinking that we should help the asshole to recognize themselves and change, and more than that thinking that we can do something.
So here is my simple proposal, let us change a little, not too much because I am tent to consider most of us on the right track already. Let us do a small effort all together and let us try to figure out who are the bad guys, and … put them on a list. The outcome could be amazing…
“You may say i'm a dreamer
But i'm not the only one
I hope some day you'll join us
And the world will be as one”