I know we often hear the admonishment not to be lazy. It’s as though a slower pace and a relaxed view of life is somehow frowned upon. Typically this seems to be more prevalent in Western culture and particularly in the United States. The ideas of being a workaholic is touted as a sign of a tireless worker dedicated to their job.
I’m going to keep today’s blog short and sweet. I have been asked a few times where I find the various images I use for my blog posts and I am happy to share. The importance of a blog image is widely recognized as a key factor in the amount of views a post will receive. If you’re still skeptical you can view this article, or this one, or also this one.
I watch the flames lick around the sticks and branches placed in the fire pit. There’s one part that’s red-hot, the flames are high and jumping in an almost frenzied pace, then there’s an area which has not yet been touched by the heat, and lastly a part that’s already felt the heat of the fire and has been consumed. Around the base there’s the ashes remaining from previous hot spots. As I watch it occurs to me that many projects work in a very similar way. In fact, I work in a similar way.
The conversation rages on, discussion and debate abound, individuals pick fights and people take sides. The community becomes embroiled in each minor change and pick up the banner for the underdog regardless of the logic or lack of evidence supporting a claim. At times it feels almost ludicrous. How could such animosity, such anger and personal feelings be so openly shown within a community? I believe the reason is simple and it is one of the reasons why I love open source.
Sometimes the excitement surrounding a new product or idea is so strong it’s almost tangible. I’ve had some incredible experiences but one feeling which never gets old is the buzz. The buzz is my way of describing that super awesome sensation when the goosebumps start to form on my arms and the surrounding air is alive with electricity. I live for that feeling. Sometimes I get teased because I’m so passionate about what I do. But I will not apologize for the energy which motivates me and which may be passed on when we talk.
I recently observed an incredible phenomenon. I watched as a small orange chest designed to keep cold things cold broke all types of fundraising records. Ironically at this same time a bowl of potato salad has also reached absurd support levels. Does this show of an underlying cultural shift? Where is the social good? Do we have the right focus in our lives and in our investments? What can we learn from these fundraisers and what does it tell us about our world values and priorities?
Open source software is the future of our world. The power of the community has been clearly demonstrated and the opportunity to provide equality to businesses of all sizes has been shown. I’d like to share my latest endeavors with you and encourage you to join me.
Too often businesses are forced in to situations which limits their opportunity and their ability to succeed. Small businesses account for over 65% of all new jobs and more than 22.7 million small businesses existed (several years previous). Strikingly though of this dominant portion of the economy 80% average less than $50,000 in receipts. Small business is a struggle. More small businesses close than open each month and yet the struggle continues.
Small Business Confession
I’m part of a small business. I know firsthand the struggles faced and the challenges which exist in the day to day. One of the greatest concerns and frustrations I meet is the lack of strong software tools available for small businesses. This weighs on me heavily and I am deeply passionate about changing this perceived standard.
“All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual.”
– Albert Einstein
What I Fight For
I’ve spent my entire professional life seeking ways to combat these issues and help other small businesses just like myself to succeed and find the resources they need to achieve their goals. Too many vertical markets exist where the only providers are large, closed corporations intent on maximizing their profits and focused solely on serving other businesses of their same size. The Fortune 500 helping the Fortune 500. No one is looking out for the little guy. The underdog. The up-and-comer.
Other Open Source Projects
Through the years I’ve been privileged to be a part of several open source projects and to create several open source tools aimed at providing an equal playing field for small businesses to compete at the same level as these large businesses. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned the importance of good support, the value in a community, and the opportunity for growth through conflicts.
Initiatives I’ve been fortunate to be involved in have released amazing Content Management software, Customer Relationship Management software, Project Management software, Live Chat Management software and others. Each of these software tools has been with the same goal. The empowering of small businesses. We’ve sought to reduce the ridiculous over-priced expense which previously had prohibited small businesses. But there’s still more to do. There are still more challenges to conquer and more ways to empower small businesses. Rest assured I will continue to be an active supporter and vocal contributor to each these open source projects.
Continuing To Grow
I am incredibly excited to share with you the next open source project I’ll be involved in. Myself along with several other close friends have identified a vertical market completely out-of-reach for many small businesses due to the exorbitant monthly costs. Monthly fees exceeding the entire gross revenue of approximately 75% of all U.S. small businesses. And yet a powerful piece of software which incredibly helps those businesses which can afford the service. This tool is revolutionary not just in the powerful, cutting-edge framework upon which its built but also in the disruption it brings to a previously closed market.
I look forward to sharing much more with you through my blog as we go about preparing tools. I’ll share the pain-points, the highs and the lows of beginning a new open source project and we’ll grow together as we begin to form a community. As we go if you have questions, ideas, or just general comments I welcome them. You can contact me directly through my email. The excitement is growing and the buzz is definitely starting to increase. I hope as things progress and I share different behind-the-scenes peeks you’ll start to feel the same enthusiasm that’s driving me!
Beginning a Community
Yes, I know I’m leaving things a bit in the dark at the moment but I promise more will come. I’ll share screenshots, ask for feedback, and just in general do everything I can to get you involved. I’m only one of the people involved in this very exciting effort. If you own, run, or work in a small business I hope you will become more and more involved as we go through this process. It’s never too early to become a part of this new open source community.
I believe in small businesses, equality, and community. I believe in open source.
Too often as small business owners we are terrified of failure. Fear is a powerful motivator but it’s not always an appropriate one. We tend to live constantly in fear of failure as though a failure would somehow define us and characterize our lives. We find ourselves judging our usefulness and our self-worth by our successes. We all need to learn a bit more how to embrace failures. Continue reading Embracing Failures
If you’re anything like me you have a list of tasks a mile long you need to complete. This list might exist in your email, your calendar, or possibly even just a piece of paper you’ve scribbled things down on. Bottom line, you have tasks. I have a secret to share with you. The ultimate productivity tool.
Everyone has a different set of life experiences as well as a different set of skills and background. As a result there is always something to be learned from everyone you meet. Sometimes this is less obvious than others but there’s always something to be learned. You should take the time to teach what you know to others.