|FROM ||Paul Robert Marino
|SUBJECT ||Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Eric Raymond's tips for effective open source
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Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2009 01:22:53 -0400
From: Paul Robert Marino
User-Agent: Thunderbird 184.108.40.206 (Windows/20090605)
Subject: Re: [NYLXS - HANGOUT] Eric Raymond's tips for effective open source
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well thats open source and its kind of true
but that does not apply to free speech software :)
I'm always very careful when talking to management to say "free speech
software" instead of "free software" it makes them less suspicious
because it actually explains the motive without having to go into a long
explanation. I find it also helps to point out they will still have to
pay for support instead of a license, and support is far more useful
for solving any potential problems then a license that makes no
guarantee that the software will do what the documentation says it will.
Simon Fondrie-Teitler wrote:
> That might be the least effective slogan I have ever heard.
> Simon Fondrie-Teitler
> On Mon, Jul 27, 2009 at 9:22 PM, Joshua Zeidner > > wrote:
> anyone hear this latest anti-OSS management mantra?
> "Open Source: free as in kittens."
> On Sun, Jul 26, 2009 at 1:48 PM, Contrarian> > wrote:
> > The text at the link I just sent
> > Eric Raymond's tips for effective open source advocacy
> > by Rick Moen
> > If anyone is qualified to tell us how to effectively lobby for the
> > wider adoption of open-source software, it's Eric S. Raymond.
> > being propelled -- much to his surprise -- to sudden global
> > in 1998 through his involvement in inspiring and launching the
> > Project, Raymond found himself the de facto spokesman for an
> > movement, observed that he was fairly good about it, and so
> set about
> > explaining how and why. He briefed a large audience at the recent
> > LinuxWorld Conference & Expo on these happenings, and on how
> the rest
> > of us might do likewise, in a talk entitled "Meme Hacking for
> Fun and
> > Profit."
> > Eric's first step was to figure out why the 1998 effort suddenly
> > worked, making business interested in our community's software
> > after nearly two decades of entirely futile attempts. It
> wasn't easy.
> > In May of 1997, Eric published an essay, "The Cathedral and the
> > Bazaar" (CatB), explaining his theories of how free software
> (the only
> > term for it, then) gets created, and why the process creates
> such good
> > software so quickly, based on his experience managing a piece of
> > utility software called Fetchmail (see Resources). This
> > socio-technical analysis, while written to be accessible to a
> > nontechnical audience, succeeded only in generating acclaim among
> > propeller-beanie Linux users -- preaching to the choir. Eric
> > better known as Guy Steele's successor in editing the MIT
> Jargon File,
> > one of the cornerstones of "hackish" (computer programmer)
> > and as mastermind of the shadowy, tongue-in-cheek (or so They
> > have us think) Eric Conspiracy -- until January 23, 1998.
> > That morning, Eric received an emailed tip from a friend,
> > he look at the prior day's announcement from Netscape, and
> > commenting "I think someone's been reading your paper." And so
> > did -- and was thunderstruck by the fact that a major corporation
> > seemed to be implementing his software-management ideas.
> Indeed, many
> > parts of the announcement seemed to be quoting CatB directly.
> > He cold-called Netscape Communications Corporation's main
> > number, working through a bureaucratic maze for fifteen minutes,
> > seeming to reach a dead end at a voicemail mailbox. His bewildered
> > message went something like, "Hello, my name is Eric Raymond,
> and I
> > think I had something to do with your announcement. Could somebody
> > please call me?" Within the hour, Roseanne Cino of Netscape
> > called back, saying, "Yes, all of our top people read your
> paper and
> > loved it. Jim Barksdale is giving your name to the national
> press, and
> > wants to meet you."
> > As Eric says, "This was the moment of vindication our tribe
> had been
> > waiting for for twenty years." During all that time, the
> > technical/Unix community had received essentially nothing but
> > brushoffs, being considered impractical freaks in sandals,
> even though
> > it offered clearly better technology. It was clear that the
> > was not one of substance, but of perception, and Eric saw that
> > was our key to changing that.
> > We'd never had a success before, and a procedural analysis of the
> > traditional Unix evangelism strategy, typically carried out by
> > software engineers within their own companies, showed why. In
> a such a
> > situation, you typically would:
> > 1. Become excited by some great technology, and become
> impressed by
> > its potential to change the world for the better.
> > 2. Talk it up to your peers.
> > 3. Join your peers in approaching the next level of management,
> > trying to get them excited, and hope that the excitement
> > upward until it reaches the top and changes company policies.
> > 4. Sit back and wait for the people at the top to clap their
> hands to
> > their foreheads, and exclaim in a sudden burst of
> > "Gosh, we were wrong all along! But we'll change our
> > policies and fix everything!"
> > Enlightenment doesn't flow uphill
> > Of course, real authority hierarchies don't work that way.
> > you have, in rough terms, three strata.
> > * Decision-makers inhabit the top of the hierarchy.
> > * Below them are the middle managers, whose job is to be
> > of organisational stability. When asked to change company
> > policies, their job is to say "no."
> > * At the bottom are the implementers. This is where dwell the
> > Unix-loving engineering staff.
> > The traditional strategy fails because it hits the purposely
> > granite-hard wall of middle management, and advocates of open
> > software will wait until Doomsday trying to work past them.
> And until
> > 1998, that's exactly what they were doing.
> > Mozilla gave us an example to point to, but also material to learn
> > from: in that case, enlightenment did not trickle up from
> below. One
> > guy at the top (Jim Clark) encountered a persuasive essay, had a
> > moment of enlightenment, and enforced his new vision on everyone
> > beneath him.
> > Clark was convinced, not by moral suasion, but by CatB's pragmatic
> > analysis showing why free software yielded shorter time to
> > better code quality, and lower costs.
> > Ambassador to the suits
> > Eric could see that the Mozilla code release would be a crucial
> > moment, which could yield any of several alternative outcomes:
> > * Mozilla could succeed, demonstrating open source's benefits.
> > * Mozilla could succeed, but in a way that made it appear to
> be a
> > one-time, freak case.
> > * Mozilla might be perceived as having failed, and then
> become the
> > standard reason cited in business circles for not trying
> > He decided that he could help ensure the first outcome by
> working out
> > a credible, coherent explanation of the open source model and its
> > benefits that would be amenable to the right sort of audience.
> > target audience would be precisely the one ignored by prior
> > Fortune 500 chief executive officers.
> > This is easier said than done. As Eric puts it, "Most of us
> don't play
> > golf with Jack Welsh [longtime CEO of General Electric]. We
> need some
> > other way to slip our LSD in their water supply."
> > Thus, Eric figured, our best bet is a media-centered campaign
> aimed at
> > Fortune 500 CEOs. It might seem at first glance that entrepreneurs
> > would be a better bet, but the Fortune 500 are the biggest, most
> > influential market that can be reached by a single marketing
> > He decided to concentrate exclusively on the following news
> > the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Barron's,
> and the
> > Economist.
> > This list pointedly excludes technical journals, since the
> people we
> > need to reach don't read them, but leave that task to
> underlings. Eric
> > cited what he called Rule Number One of Marketing: "Appeal to the
> > prospect's interests and values, not to yours." If the
> smarter, more
> > forward-looking CEOs were convinced to come aboard, the others
> > tend to follow.
> > The sales pitch
> > The term "open source," coined by Chris Peterson of the Foresight
> > Institute at a strategy session Eric attended in February 1998
> > the Netscape announcement, followed naturally from this logic.
> > feels that the traditional term, "free software," had been a
> > around all of our necks, and was simply a nonstarter as
> rhetoric to
> > convince any but the hard-core believers. From the businessman's
> > perspective, "free software" sounds at best ambiguous, or possibly
> > even threatening: you must explain which meaning of "free" you
> > (free as in speech, rather than free as in beer), and then clarify
> > what free speech has to do with software. Your audience might
> > "Free? That sounds cheap, shoddy." Or, worse, "Free? That
> sounds like
> > communism."
> > It's much more effective to sell the concept on the basis of
> > reliability, instead. Big corporations lose millions of
> dollars per
> > hour when their datacenters go down. Executives are keenly
> > in avoiding that.
> > Also, even concerning their desktop boxes, executives are
> aware of the
> > money drain. Mean time before failure (MTBF) of Windows 9x is less
> > than a week. As an installation ages, that shrinks to less
> than a day.
> > With Linux, a box left alone has MTBF of around two years.
> > Your winning points will be:
> > * Total cost of ownership (TCO)
> > * Insulation from risk and loss of control
> > An executive who allows his company to becomes dependent on
> > he is not allowed to see inside, let alone change, has lost
> control of
> > his business, and is on the wrong side of a monopoly
> relationship with
> > a vendor who can thereby control his business. With open
> source, the
> > executive is in control, and nobody can take that away. The
> > opportunity to reduce and control business risk is a key
> concern of
> > any CEO. You'll be listened to.
> > Eric warned that none of this will work without purging one's
> mind of
> > the common techophile's notion that business people are
> stupid. Eric
> > characterised them as "differently optimised," and said that
> we should
> > respect them for their specialty. For one thing, you cannot
> sell to
> > people if you project an attitude of disrespect. Even if you don't
> > express it explicitly, it will come through in body language,
> > intonation, and other subtle aspects of your demeanour.
> > Of course, it probably seems reckless to approach one's
> company CEO
> > and advocate changing company policies, and it may well be so.
> > usually more successful to work on other people's
> organisations, since
> > companies seem oddly resistant to listening to their own technical
> > people. Also, partially because most executives will be less
> > than Jim Clark to read long essays on the Web, Eric has
> published "The
> > Cathedral and the Bazaar" as part of a book of the same name,
> > available from O'Reilly, suitable for leaving as anonymous
> gifts on
> > executive desks.
> > Dress to persuade
> > Eric himself tries to adopt the Prince from Another Country
> stance, a
> > term coined by science-fiction writer Norman Spinrad to
> describe his
> > technique for being accepted in multiple communities: You
> adopt the
> > attitude of being a high-ranking member of a different hierarchy,
> > which gets you respect without subjecting you to hierarchical
> > obligations. Thus, when Spinrad was trying to gain respect in
> > Hollywood as a scriptwriter, he conducted himself as a respected
> > science fiction author. Conversely, in the science fiction
> > he billed himself as a leading Hollywood scriptwriter.
> > Following in the same mold, Eric dresses well but casually, and
> > donates his time as a speaker on open source, rather than
> billing it
> > as consulting time. Dressing "well" includes good shoes,
> meaning, in
> > Eric's case, $90 Rockport walking shoes rather than beat-up
> > He generally combines these with a neat polo shirt and slacks.
> > Don't dress like a hacker, Eric warns. Dress the way hackers
> do in the
> > movies. You want to look like a credible, respected member of a
> > foreign social system to an audience of executives who've
> never come
> > closer to a real hacker than a Sandra Bullock movie. Therefore,
> > "Birkenstocks are right out!"
> > Even worse than underdressing, as a strategy for being credible to
> > executives, would be overdressing. A technology advocate
> dressed in a
> > business suit would tend to come across as a bad imitation of a
> > business person -- and thus a person to ignore. It's far safer to
> > stick to neat, good-fabric casual wear.
> > Amy Abascal, head of the Web development team at VA Linux Systems,
> > interjected, "But what should the technical woman wear?" I had
> a brief
> > moment of lurid anticipation that Eric might recommend that she
> > emulate Carrie-Anne Moss. The daydream passed, and Eric quite
> > pointed out that the high-quality black casual wear Amy was
> > would serve perfectly.
> > Local Linux user and magazine columnist Mae Ling Mak shouted
> out, "But
> > what about me?" Eric gazed at Mae Ling's black vinyl cheongsam and
> > replied, "Mae Ling, you're a law unto yourself. Never change a
> > The other sales front
> > Eric anticipated that his other task would be equally tough:
> > convincing free-software advocates to change their rhetoric when
> > speaking to business. The Open Source Initiative was founded in
> > February 1998 towards that end, with Eric and fellow OSI director
> > Bruce Perens advocating the new approach among traditional
> > free-software advocates.
> > To their utter astonishment, they observed 85 percent of the
> > switching the wording on its Web sites within six weeks,
> > pent-up demand in the community for a more effective, less
> > confrontational approach. Some organs of the press that used
> to carry
> > what Eric termed "condescending, snarky pieces about free
> > fell over themselves to speak glowingly of open source.
> > Talking to the press
> > Eric's strategy for getting his views across in the press ("press
> > manipulation," he freely admits) relies on knowing that most
> > are asleep most of the time. It's impossible to keep your audience
> > awake. Therefore, you keep a good stock of attention-getting sound
> > bites in reserve, and zap the reporter with them at well-spaced
> > intervals. The theory, which Eric claims works quite reliably,
> is that
> > the reporter will remember the sound bites, reproducing them
> as the
> > backbone of his coverage, and discard the parts he half-dozed
> > (This reporter found the suggestion about as annoying as the wrist
> > cramp from his nine pages of lecture notes, but concedes the
> point may
> > be more correct than not. Eric stoked some of our egos a bit
> by saying
> > that technology reporters tended to be way ahead of that curve on
> > account of the same hackish traits that got them into that
> field in
> > the first place. Sorry, no kind words for technology readers.)
> > The other side of the coin
> > One member of the audience asked how corporations should approach
> > relations with the open source community. It's the same problem as
> > before, just from the other side: "Appeal to the prospect's
> > and values, not to yours." Once more, if anyone is qualified to
> > address this point, it's Eric.
> > * Never lie to geeks. They take it seriously. Most general
> > of the public expect casual prevarication and evasion, but
> > technical activists notice it and are offended.
> > * Respect community customs. In particular, respect the
> > software licences. Don't write your own and expect to be
> > with open arms.
> > * Value your own internal experts. The community doesn't like
> > dealing with faceless organisations, and prefers one-on-one
> > "horizontal" dealings with individuals. Therefore,
> identify your
> > own people who are likely contacts with the community --
> who may
> > already be part of it without your being aware of it -- and
> > burnish their presence and potential as spokespersons.
> > * Give the community members toys; you'll make them happy.
> > But seriously, folks
> > As a bit of parting advice, Eric suggested that the most valuable
> > skill to pick up is that of effective public speaking. There are a
> > variety of groups that aim to teach it, but Eric found his
> model in
> > what at first might seem an unlikely place: stand-up comedy,
> which he
> > says can be effectively studied for tips on timing,
> punctuation, and
> > body language, among other things.
> > Eric is an animated and extroverted speaker, with a flair for
> > out to audiences, and a whimsical sense of fun -- but
> > him as a Robin Williams or Mike Myers puts him in a new light.
> > Me: Maybe I'd be a reporter.
> > Eric: An evil reporter?
> > Me: You always do that!
> > Resources
> > * The Fetchmail utility:
> > http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/fetchmail/
> > * "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," Eric S. Raymond:
> > http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/
> > * The Jargon File, aka the New Hacker's Dictionary:
> > http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/jargon/
> > * Eric Conspiracy Secret Labs:
> > http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/ecsl/
> > * Netscape's announcement of the planned source code release:
> > http://home.netscape.com/newsref/pr/newsrelease558.html
> > * The Cathedral and the Bazaar: Musings on Linux and Open
> Source by
> > an Accidental Revolutionary, Eric S. Raymond (O'Reilly and
> > Associates, 1999):
> > http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/cb/
> > Rick Moen is a recovering system administrator in the San
> > Bay Area, who served as primary Bay Area organiser for Windows
> > Day, and has been one of the main troublemakers behind Silicon
> > Linux User Group's Silicon Valley Tea Party, the Great Linux
> Revolt of
> > '98, and other Bay Area Linux PR events.
> > Copyright (C) 2000 by Rick Moen, rick-at-linuxmafia.com
> > Article first appeared in LinuxWorld.com