For those who were unable to attend J And Beyond this year in Königstein, Germany I have written a post in regards to the talk I delivered as the closing keynote. If you were unable to attend I hope you’ll take a moment to read the below talk and stop to think about where your time is being spent.
My topic focuses on looking forward. The focus for this year’s J And Beyond has been Investing in Our Future. A great slogan and I think one which has been well represented in these past three days. The concept of investing typically carries with it the idea of continuing to do so. Most investments are not something done once and only once. This means the very act of investing in our future should be continued. We simply can’t end this event, return to our various homes and businesses, and forget what we’ve learned and accomplished here. So, I’d like to help you keep thinking about investing and keeping this passion alive and the easiest way to do that will be with baby steps. I’d like to think with you about your next investment.
Learning from Paine.
I know, I know you’re immediately thinking I’ve typo’ed on my title. What a brilliant way to begin a topic. But it’s not a typo. It is, however, a play on words. Learning is hard, sometimes even painful. But in this instance I refer more to the idea of learning from history. Specifically an important figure in American history (and other countries as well). His name is Thomas Paine. Here’s a quick quote of his to get us started.
“Tis not in numbers but in unity that our great strength lies.”
– Common Sense 1776
There are so many great things I could say on that quote but I won’t get into it. Don’t tempt me – it’s a separate topic all together!
The Early Years
I’d like to take you on a brief trip back through the life of this incredible individual and explore a bit about some of the things he accomplished. Thomas was born in England in the early 1700s. And he really didn’t grow up in a wealthy family. His father worked as a corset maker and Thomas apprenticed with him for a good while. He was able to attend Thetford Grammar School and received some formal education then.
He began working at an early age and he has an incredibly diverse work experience and background. Need an example? After being a master corset maker he became a legalized pirate. Yep, that’s pretty much extreme opposites! Granted he wasn’t a pirate for long and soon returned to England to setup his own small business (as a corset maker). Along the way he also worked as a goods inspector, and then in time became a school teacher. He held a number of very different positions and had incredible business experiences along the way. He was very much a small business type of guy and you can easily see how he began dabbling in politics and government processes early on.
During this time he also married, and sadly, lost both wife and his first child during the birth. If any of you have families I’m sure you can understand the immense amount of heartache this would cause. Not only did he experience personal loss but during his various jobs along the way he experienced setbacks, hardships, and failures. He lost several jobs, went bankrupt in his business, and was even fired from several of his government jobs.
If we jump ahead to a bit later in his life we’ll see even more hardships and trials, even at his funeral only six people were present. He was controversial to say the least! Let’s look at some of the influences and the work he created.
Influences and Work
Thomas was extremely interested in politics and religion (I guess that explains why he may have been so controversial). He was influenced by a number of other powerful individuals including Voltaire, Benjamin Franklin, and John Locke. Each of these played an important role which can be seen in his writing and ideology.
Voltaire was a versatile writer, producing works in almost every literary form, including plays, poems, novels, essays, and historical and scientific works. He wrote more than 20,000 letters and more than 2,000 books and pamphlets. He was an outspoken advocate, despite the risk this placed him in under the strict censorship laws of the time.
Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He outlined and practiced many practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism both political and religious.
Locke was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential ofEnlightenment thinkers and known as the “Father of Classical Liberalism”. Lock was quite important to social contract theory.
We can easily see how each of these men provided some influence on his thinking and writing. Next let’s look for a bit at some of the works created by Thomas.
First, He wrote a pamphlet entitled Common Sense which he published and immediately it took off with over 100,000 copies being sold within the first 3 months. This pamphlet covered very few new ideas but involved a very new means of political writing to make complex ideas easy to understand. This was his first well-known public work and was the best selling American title of the period.
The American Crisis
His second very well-known work was published shortly after the first. The American Crisis was a pamphlet series designed to inspire Americans in battle. This pamphlet however has done much more and provides a number of very moving statements and quotes which have been used by many throughout the years. Contrary to the title, much of what Thomas shared is applicable to all types of environments and times. I would like to draw one particular quote out as the theme for my talk and as the central theme for what we do here.
Our Central Theme
“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly:
it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
Let’s Talk Joomla
So, let’s talk Joomla. I mean that’s what we all love here anyway right? Right? Yes, we all love Joomla. We’re working together, we’re coming together as a whole. We’ve formed a community, a family around a common set of goals and ideals and a common vision. Let’s take a minute and review a brief timeline of what we’ve been able to accomplish.
We’ve seen the launch of a new idea, an innovative and ground-breaking CMS, roughly 2005. We’ve had successful launches with Joomla 1.5 released in 2008 and 2.5 released in 2011. We continued a trend of launching new ideas with our Joomla 3 series and in 2013 we successfully pushed Joomla 3.2 – and now here we are in 2014 with some really great ideas on the horizon.
Now as much as I’d like to stop and look ahead at what the future holds and what we are set to take on next. It’s exciting and I would love to share even more. Joomla is set to change the world. I must leave it at that. I really can’t go any further. So let’s return and look at some numbers (yah, numbers!)
47,320, that’s a whole lot of days (or maybe it was mostly nights). Let’s look for some smaller numbers, smaller is always easier to understand. Here’s one 6,760. That’s a bit smaller but that’s still a lot of weeks and a big number to understand. So let’s go smaller, 1,560. Ok now were’ getting some where, 1,560 is a small enough number most can easily relate it to something else, but if I say months it again becomes a hard number to quantify. So we’ll go one more. 130. Read that again, 130. That’s years. 130 years, that time period is older than most people reading this. (Yes, I admit I’m assuming on a few of you.)
130 years is a long time. But that’s how much time the popular site Ohloh suggests would be required to recreate the Joomla CMS. Based on lines of code, and a variety of other factors they have come to the conclusion it would require 130 man-years to create what has been done. You know what that says to me? It says a lot of time has been spent on Joomla.
A significant amount of time has been spent by voluntary, passionate contributors to this community and to the mission and vision we hold so dear. But I wonder – is this really time spent? or is it something else. I would suggest this is not time spent but rather time invested. Yes, we have invested our time and our energy into this community and into this project. We hold Joomla very close to our hearts and very dear to us.
Obtained Too Cheap?
What does this mean? If we return to the quote we’re focusing on I’d like to ask a question. Has Joomla been obtained too cheap? Based on the numbers, the figures, we’ve just reviewed, understanding the heart and soul of this community which we have all dedicated such tremendous time to and so many of us hold incredibly close to our hearts. There can be no other answer. Absolutely not.
We hold Joomla in the highest esteem. We believe in our community, in each other, in the purpose and goals and vision of this family. We do not esteem Joomla lightly because we have not obtained it cheaply. And more than just esteem, we hold Joomla dear to us. We love Joomla and we believe in Joomla. And as a result of that immense belief Joomla is given value. Incredible value. Dare I say value beyond measure? The value is tremendous.
What Does This Mean For You?
So what does this mean for you. Well, let me go quickly through the points we’ve discussed. You would agree Joomla is valuable, it’s held dear by a global community, an incredibly large family and clearly it has been given value. Secondly you agree Joomla is esteemed. Joomla has not been obtained cheaply. 130 years of effort given freely to this vision, that time is not cheap and as a result Joomla is esteemed highly. Thirdly, I think you could agree easily that Joomla has shown its stability through the many successful years it has existed and improved. Now I’m not saying it’s perfect, there’s always room for improvement. But we’ve seen many things come and go in the time that Joomla has continued to endure and grow.
Three Proven Facts
Those are three easy points we can all agree on. So here’s why this matters to you. Joomla is a good investment. Everyone is always looking for a good investment. We all want to invest our time, our talents, our resources in a “sure thing”. I believe we’ve seen Joomla to be a pretty sure thing. A great investment and a wonderful opportunity to do what so many others have already done. Invest in something bigger than themselves. Invest in something worthwhile and worth your time.
So – how is your time spent currently? Here’s a few possibilities. Television, internet, sports, family, parties, work, sleeping, eating, and vacations. Now some of these are very valid uses of your time. They are investments not expenses. But perhaps others are expenses. Which of these could you do less of? What can you do to invest in something bigger than yourself?
I’ve spoken and shared dozens of times (maybe even more) about ways to be involved in Joomla. I won’t attempt to tell you what your next investment should be specifically other than one important point.
You absolutely, positively, 100% should make your next investment Joomla.