[consulting] Costs of forking

Andrew Hoppin andrew at civicspacelabs.org
Thu Feb 9 18:40:26 UTC 2006

My market is community building and advocacy applications of 
CivicSpace/Drupal, and in that realm at least it's *really* important 
to me that we DO talk to clients about these issues and distinctions-- 
not just so that they'll let us contribute back and pay for it, but for 
THEM... clients who begin to climb a learning curve about the software 
they'll going to depend on will make better use of it and have better 
results from it... and, critically, they won't be dependent on ME and 
can move to a different consultant more easily if they ever think that 
I stink.  This lack of vendor lock-in is a big selling point for FLOSS 
and is empowering to clients, but it isn't a very real benefit if they 
don't understand anything about it...  The clients I'm interested in, 
and the ones that are going to do the most innovative and meaningful 
(to me) things with our software, are the ones whose objectives and end 
results necessitate understanding the basics of how our community and 
software development process works.


On Feb 9, 2006, at 8:16 AM, Ken Collins wrote:

> stuff in proposals and such. It's more professional that you handle 
> this on your personal business end. My term for it is the "IBM Shovel" 
> but I digress...
> Clients want to stay focused on the objectives, end results, etc. and 
> if you are a geek (ie, you know what forking is) but yet, you act as 
> business development, AE, or other manager you too should be focused 
> on the clients end result and communicate along those lines. 
> Technicalities like forking, get in the way of that line of 
> communication.
> Remember too, that many clients have their clients where your services 
> are a part of the bigger plan. If "your" client even understands these 
> concepts, they will never make their way to your client's client.
>  - Ken
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