[consulting] Drupal for start-ups

Gary Feldman dpal_gaf_consult at marsdome.com
Mon Dec 25 01:29:11 UTC 2006

Kieran Lal wrote:
> Most of  you don't know but Peter Van Dijick, author of this article,  
> http://poorbuthappy.com/ease/archives/2006/12/09/3382/drupal-considered-dangerous-for-startups , 
> quietly helped me in focusing several of the efforts to help improve 
> Drupal's user experience.  He's a fan of Drupal and I value his 
> opinion.  I'd like to turn this general observation about the 
> difficulties in using Drupal for new companies into something more 
> constructive.
> I have written a draft page based on working directly with several 
> start-ups that have used Drupal.  If we can improve the success of 
> Drupal projects for start-ups by providing more guidelines and 
> observations that are particular to the needs of start-ups I'd like to 
> do so.  If you have a few hours to help me produce a good first draft 
> *based on actual experience using Drupal in a start-up* please contact 
> me.  I'd like to collaborate on producing something useful that will 
> continue to drive investment in Drupal.
I can't meet your need directly, but let me give you some more general 
experiences from startups:

I'm currently at my fourth start-up, one as a development lead, the 
other three as SQA/process lead.   One got bought out without going 
public, one went public and then got bought out (both successful 
conclusions in the scheme of themes), one was a dot.gone (a CMGI 
dot.gone, to be precise), and the current one is well on its way to success.

In every single case, success or failure had nothing to do with 
technology, and everything to do with solving customer problems.  The 
first two, and my current one all abandoned or deemphasized technology 
when it was clear that customers needed a different solution. The 
dot.gone simply wasn't in the same situation (I don't think PHP had even 
been invented yet), and failed because it couldn't identify a problem 
that was within reach (and, I suppose, because it was riding the dot.com 
roller coaster).

The best thing Drupal can do for start-ups, or for any business, is to 
maintain an appraisal of its capabilities in terms that a pointed-haired 
manager can understand.  Help people to understand when to get on the 
bandwagon, and when to get off.


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