[Israel.pm] Mission Statement for a New Company based on Voluntarism-taken-to-Extreme

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Mon Apr 2 05:02:56 PDT 2007

Hi all!

I wrote this mission statement as a way to put some of my thoughts on paper. 
It's just an idea, and I'm not sure how practical it is, but it is still 

Comments are welcome.


	Shlomi Fish

I recently got fired from my workplace:


That has made me thinking: why can't there be a perfect workplace in Israel?
Here's how I define perfect:

1. Integrates the best of http://www.joelonsoftware.com/ , 
http://www.catb.org/~esr/writings/cathedral-bazaar/ ,
http://www.extremeprogramming.org/ ,
http://www.paulgraham.com/ , etc.

2. Google lets its employees work for 20% on the time on their projects of
choice. We will demand employees to work on our own projects only 20% of
the time, and we will not require them to assign copyrights for what they do,
including not at work time.

Why? For several reasons:

    2.1. If someone has to work 80% of the time, he'll feel frustrated and
    only works 20% of the time. If, OTOH, he has to work 20% of the time,
    he'll work more than that.

    2.2. Because what employees do on their free days may prove of interest
    to us.

    2.3. Because we're not possessive about our "intellectual property". We're
    fully open source (see below).

3. We will work on open source software exclusively. Not just GPL - but also
,and often preferably, LGPL or MIT X11. The less other people and companies 
us for permission to use our software - the better.

4. We will encourage our workers to "blog": write essays, maintain a weblog,
edit wikis, maintain public web sites, publish articles in online and offline
publications, etc. We will have a "planet" for the company. 

5. We will allow free choice of language.

6. Everyone can become a member of the company simply by adding himself to 
the wiki. He or she will not get paid immediately, but they still can consider
themselves part of the company.


Now what we will work on? Will there ever be a lack of good ideas?

1. Refactoring MediaWiki - MW is great but its source code is lacking and
could use a lot of polishing. I've talked with someone who wants to
re-implement it, but based on the wisdom of the patriarchs Joel and Eric, I'd
like to try to refactor it first.

2. Writing a web-based email that does not suck - I'm sorry, but KMail still
gives a much better E-mail experience than gmail, and makes the people you
correspond with, who are using a superior email client, much less angry.

I suppose we can take a popular web-based email client and improve it to
perfection (as we cannot do the same with gmail)

3. Winapt - http://winapt.berlios.de/

4. rindolf - a perl 5 compiler written in perl 5 that will make perl 5 on
Parrot and other VMs, both C-hosting and perl-hosting.


These are just a few examples - there are many more. But the point is that
I believe such a company will not only be very popular, but can in fact be
profitable. Paul Graham and ESR have rambled a lot about how people who are
left to do what they want to do, rather than what they feel they are obliged
to do, produce superior results to those who don't. Such a company can be a
very powerful force, even in comparison to Google. And most importantly it
will be a great employer to work for.

My problem is that while being a competent programmer and a philosopher (or
essayist or blogger as they are now called), I'm not sure I'm cut to do
management. I need someone who'll manage me. Then I'll need to find funding.
This way I and others can get paid for doing the things they like to do on
their free time, and the company can actually make a profit.

I suppose that once someone has signed a contract, we can tell him to give
us a percentage of all the consultancy/contracting he's been doing. Or we can
give consulting, contracting and support for projects that we have a lot
of experience with. Alternatively, we can have a completely different business


    Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

If it's not in my E-mail it doesn't happen. And if my E-mail is saying
one thing, and everything else says something else - E-mail will conquer.
    -- An Israeli Linuxer

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