[consulting] Costs of forking

Michael Haggerty mhaggerty at trellon.com
Mon Feb 13 08:43:30 UTC 2006

> -----Original Message-----
> From: consulting-bounces at drupal.org 
> [mailto:consulting-bounces at drupal.org] On Behalf Of JasonN
> Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2006 8:46 PM
> To: A list for Drupal consultants and Drupal service/hosting providers
> Subject: Re: [consulting] Costs of forking
> I think valuating the time like you describe relies on 
> selling the concept of the whole open source community as a 
> [preferred] business model.  You do that when you charge 
> significantly less than the 'gun for hire' closed source 
> shop.  However, a simple "You're paying for access to 
> thousands of lines of code and software QA without the hourly 
> billing," pretty much sums it up for the average client.
> --
> Jason A. Nunnelley
> ----------------------------------------
> http://www.jasonn.com/
> _______________________________________________

Might I remind you there are plenty of 'gun-for-hire' open source shops out
there as well? :)

To really understand the value of time going into a project, you have to
figure out what is important to the client. Time, resources or quality, it
always comes down to one of the three. Arguments for why to get someone to
pay you to release code should agree with a client's criteria for success.

If you have a client where the deadline is most important and you can
deliver a project more efficently by working with a GPL module, do it and
contibute the code back to the community. Build whatever you can release
first so that you have time to implement the rest of the site.

If you have a client where the cost is most important and you can save money
by delivering a project using GPL code, do so and contribute the changes
back to the community. Better yet, hire a developer from eastern europe who
can build the module for pennies and have him contribute it, clients who are
overly focused on cost affect your bottom line.

If you have a client where the quality of the project is most important,
suggest building 5 new modules to support their project and contribute them
back to the community. These are the clients who are receptive to the
argument that contributing code back to the community leads to better
support overall, and that their site will be better off long term if they
support the underlying technology. They may be willing to fund some
development because it is a good idea and not necessarily essential to their
own project.

At my company, we actually offer a discount on parts of a project we can
release as modules.

Thank you,
Michael Haggerty
Managing Partner
Trellon, LLC
(p) 301-577-6162
(c) 240-643-6561
(f) 413-691-9114
(aim) haggerty321

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