Contributors Are Priceless
Is it Not Difficult to Be One?
It is the simplest thing you can do by Releasing Early and Updating Often and thus be oft-advised that You Have To Be. Whenever you share information without the thought of reward other than the pleasure of contributing, you are a priceless commodity even onto yourself. Your words of contributions are actually actions that will now speak so loud and continuously that it will incur various costs that you need not spend:
Advertising and Promotion
Advertising and Promotion costs money. Now you need not spend such money in promoting that as your works does that for you. You are welcome to contribute and mention your contributions. Your name appears in the commits when you follow the software development procedures and in the wiki history when you edit documents. With effort over time, your contributions amount to a significant and recognizable collection of work and you will receive feedback from the community that supports and motivates you.
That said, the ADempiere community does not advertise for you. You shouldn't be using the wiki, forums or other means of communication to trumpet your own brand. That is work best left to your own website and your marketing efforts.
Acceptable forms of advertising:
- Fill the your user page of the wiki with relevant information. Every wiki contribution you make will have a link back to your user page. Avoid self promotion in the page as the pages should reflect the ADempiere brand and self promotion looks unprofessional. The goal is to have a unified look in the wiki as it is a prime vehicle for communicating with developers and customers of all the contributors.
- In commits and comments, in e-mail certainly use your signature block to advertise you and your company. This helps people know who you are.
Very, very expensive. But you have to focus. Be good in only one thing only, and in due time, people remember you better for that something. Collectively ADempiere wishes to be branded as the defacto bazaar for ERP projects, contributors, advocates and users.
You can also call it word of mouth where it happens when someone makes links or you make your own link-backs in other people's blogs. Be careful here so as not to spam, and it is often better to allow subtle link back via your profile url that is often there when you sign-off a well-thought comment to anyone's space.
How Long Do Results Come Around?
Trust me! When you truly enjoy contributing, you will not bother and before you know it, you are there as if in no time!
Price Of Not Contributing
Perhaps why contributors are said to be priceless is due to the opposite - competitive disadvantage that one may suffer for not contributing. Whenever you learnt of something, you should know that you are not the smartest person on the planet, and thus someone else might have also thought of it. The first person who contributes stakes the flag on the mountain and wins the glory and branding and definite eventual profit of having first publishes those findings. You already know about Christopher Columbus, Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Graham Bell, Albert Einstein and Bill Gates. They are said to be not the first to have discovered something. Many have before them, but alas they beat the others to the patent office!
So if you do not contribute, someone else will.
What is Free Cannot Be Stolen
Another distinctive priceless characteristic with contributions. If you hide your work under clouds of NDAs, contracts, and lawyer fees you are not actually protecting your IP. Some one in your office or network can easily plagiarise your work and you may have a hard time proving that it is actually yours and is now stolen by this thief. In the case of Compiere, we can easily prove that Open Bravo hijacks the works. That is why we here do not remove Compiere's name in many places but only do so due to ComPiere's own condition that we do not use their 'branded' name, and so we chose ADempiere instead, which is still purposely to remain close to Compiere
Web's Invisible Guarantee
In many ways, the existence of the web has guaranteed that whatever you publish may never dissappear or be delayed from everyone else. The web also ensures that returning visitors return back whenever you update your work. Sometimes by virtue of been first or constantly updating, you build your community that is loyal and stays with you, giving you the advantage over others, and that often makes the difference between a real IPO and a vapor-IPO.
This sudden appearance of the phenomenal web is the new wave. Many who exploited it first gains. Those who lurks behind shall be losers.
When Do I Sell Out?
The multi-million dollar question is when do I cash out? The simple answer is you do not because you need not. The Hotmail creator need not take the USD440 million from Bill Gates, because he was already raking in millions of advertising contracts at that time. But he sold out and so his dominance stops. Netscape was the ubiquitous browser but Marc Anderseen did not continuosly up the ante and only converted to Open Source at the very last minute which was in vain. Compiere was clearly the leader of Open Source ERP and had 100 paying partners (which was USD8000 each per annum for each partner) at the height of their openness but when they succumb to cashing out now, they stumbled and are now in decline.
Linus Torvalds has not cashed out, and those who have, such as Redhat are now suffering. Oracle recently (October 2006) announced they are activating their 1,600 satellites bases to undercut Redhat support services to kill off Redhat. However, Linux cannot be killed. It is free. How do you undercut what is free? Thus Linus enjoys a dominance and a kingdom where he is god. He can walk into anyone's office and sits in the chairman's seat. He can walk into any conference hall and people stop breathing.
Recently Mark Shuttleworth a millionaire from South Africa donated to setup Ubuntu as the latest vanguard of Linux. The Open Source promise is that you will never be out of a high-value job, but you just cannot cash out and retire.
Even Yahoo! having obtained Mt Everest position, rests on their laurels and Google notices that Mt Everest was only a mole hill, it stakes a more open flag and up the ante beyond reach. Now it is a supernova, and supernovas do die. It has to constantly open. Good luck to Google.
When you sell out due to greed or whatever reason, you inevitably allow someone else to take your place.
Move Up The Value Chain
You have been making manuals and selling them. Do you want to sell them your whole life? When do you get your big break? You make breaks by taking steps up the value chain. When you make your manuals open and free, you are called in to write more as a famous author, or lecture as a famous author, both higher value propositions. You can be like Carlos Ruiz who made open his skills by contributing his time, where the formerly unknown Compiere adoption in Colombia suddenly turns alive, and your phone doesn't stop ringing.
If you are like Trifon Trivonof you cannot stay in your home-country, Bulgaria anymore. You are wanted all over for your timed based services. Recently you are given tickets to fly to the U.S.A and paid in US Dollars.
Or in my case, you get to lead a global movement.
This article is all about you, your passions, your prized possessions, your family, your generation and your legacy. Make it all happen. For real.
Not convinced? then talk to me. I always like to strangle, I mean chat :) Red1 22:15, 8 November 2006 (EST)