On Startup Culture

I admit to being skeptical before about startup culture in the technology sector, for a few reasons:

  • It smells of a gold-rush, a way to make a quick buck. I was brought up with an ethic to go and do your day’s work, work hard, get paid, and play your part.
  • This is inter-twined with rush to commercialise the Internet. This is not new, but it is eroding into the idealism of the early days of the Web when it was supposed to be the great equaliser in society, the open information platform.
  • To scale, you really need to get investment, which means compromising and handing over rights to your business and ideas.
  • I’m a software engineer, and solve problems presented by others. I don’t see myself as an ideas person, or at least don’t have the urge to act on ones I do have.

To make an analogy, startups to me are like young footballers who dream of playing for Manchester United or AC Milan or Real Madrid. Or indeed, even to play professional football at any level. How many make it? I don’t know, but I’d say less than 1%. I suspect the number of startups who are successful comes in at around the same percentage.

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Proud

Today, I am proud to be a Firefox user and Mozillian. Thank you to the amazing Mozilla community worldwide that has contributed to Firefox 4 and the Open Web.

If you don’t know what Mozilla and Firefox are all about, watch this video.

Watch with subtitles in some languages here.

Can’t see the video? Get Firefox! Alternatively, watch here.

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Need Help Marketing Open Source?

Let’s face it, Open Source has always had an image problem.

While technologies are more prominent than ever, still today the benefits are still largely misunderstood by a large section of the business community. So if you need help in marketing your OSS project, or know someone who does, I’d recommend Sandro Groganz who is setting up a consultancy in this field.

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