Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Mergers, Open Source, Open Standards and Wishes

The esteemed Holly Ross writes,

I also think that the physical act of integrating two disparate systems, especially in the case of Convio and GetActive, will cause them to create the kinds tools that will be used to share data internally at first, but can then be spit polished and prettified for use by the general consumer.
Lets chew on this a bit. I have a corporate quarterly profit goal. I build tools to port data from Get Active to Convio as fast as possible. (1) Those tools are probably not general purpose, they are designed to get the job done and get it done fast. (2) If they are general purpose, who is going to polish them? Convio will if it leads to porting data from Blackbaud to Convio, but I doubt they would release the tools to facilitate the other direction.

And here an aspect of the difference between (distributed) open source and open standards. If the clunky tools were released into the community, all kinds of people would have an incentive to polish and prettify. If they aren't released to the community, they will serve quarterly profit targets.

I was thinking that the CiviCRM/Drupal community should run a marketing campaign... "you have to migrate anyway, migrate to open source." I suspect the tools and the companies have a few more years of maturation before they compete head to head with Convio, but I like the marketing campaign. :)

1 comment:

Margaux said...

I love the CiviCRM/Drupal marketing campaign idea! Someday we'll make it happen!

I have a client who is under contract with Convio, but they're looking to get out of the extremely cumbersome financial relationship. I had been hesitant to recommend an open source solution because I wasn't sure it would be able to compete function-wise. But this gives me new inspiration.

And I think they would also be touched by this discussion. I know they'd rather not be supporting the big businesses, and I bet they'd willingly give up a little of the glitz and glamour that Convio brings in order to do more right by the world. This fall when they reevaluate, I think I will be proposing a migration to Drupal/CiviCRM. :)