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

guy keren choo at actcom.co.il
Mon Apr 2 05:40:23 PDT 2007


Shlomi,

i'm sorry that you got fired.

however, i think you should do some introspection about why you unable 
to find a steady work place for such a long time - you're burning 
yourself out in the market place.

coming up with ideas about utopian companies, without even thinking how 
they'll earn money, can help you release steam. it will not help you 
earn a living.

unlike with the open-source world, where time is not a factor, and it's 
ok if several people do the same thing again and again until they get 
something working properly, and having 10 different projects doing the 
same thing, until one or two emerge as the most useful, and the others 
ar thrown into a niche (or die gracefully) - i don't see many people 
willing to put their money into such initiatives - because they can't 
see how they are ever going to get it back with a nice profit. if you 
don't have a clear plan - it's safer to invest your money in bond 
stocks, in the stock market, etc.

so i would suggest you started thinking why you keep losing jobs 
(quiting early is not better then being fired). and try to work on 
changing that.

--guy

Shlomi Fish wrote:
> 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 
> interesting.
> 
> Comments are welcome.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> 	Shlomi Fish
> 
> I recently got fired from my workplace:
> 
> http://shlomif.livejournal.com/39976.html
> 
> 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 
> ask
> 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
> model.
> 
> Regards,
> 
>     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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