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The Year Without Pants — September 17, 2013

The Year Without Pants

ywp-cover-largeToday is launch day for Scott Berkun’s new book: The Year Without Pants: and the Future of Work.

I’ve been waiting on this day for a while, I’m really excited that it’s out in the wild. It’s a fantastic read, Scott not only does a great job painting a picture of how we work at Automattic, but also expressing the culture within the company.

I was part of “Team Social” that Scott led for over a year, we had a lot of fun, and at the same time produced some high quality work. It’s quite strange reading a book about experiences that you’ve had in person, it’s like comparing a book to a movie. I think Scott nails the little details that made those experiences great.

If you’re interested in how a distributed company works, what it’s like to manage people at a distance, or how we get by on almost zero emails per day, this is the book for you.

You can buy it on Amazon starting today, go grab a copy!

Give a Little — September 25, 2009

Give a Little

If you’re building commercial solutions around open source projects, good for you. As long as you are respecting the licenses of those projects I have absolutely nothing against you. In fact, well done for working to create a sustainable business around projects that provide end users with core freedoms.

However, here’s the point many of the people before you have missed; give a little.

Give a little back to the core of the project. It’s the single most important thing you can do to help the project continue to move forward and for your business around that project to stay relevant.

Giving back is easy and you don’t have to be a programmer. Small actions like reporting bugs, updating documentation, and answering questions in the forums go a long way towards helping out the community and pushing the project in the right direction. If you are a programmer, consider writing patches for the project to fix those outstanding bugs you’ve been side-stepping and working around for so long.

Your image will do nothing but benefit from this, it shows the community that you’re in it because you love the project. It shows that you want to see the project continue to develop and get better and better. Most importantly it shows you’re not just in it to make a buck or two then move on to the next project when there’s nothing more to gain. Intrinsic interest speaks volumes.

A lot of companies on the web subscribe to a program called 1% for the planet. Let’s put a spin on that and start something called “1% for the project”. Instead of money, it would be 1% of your time per year spent towards helping the project that your company is built around. That’s two hours per month helping ensure your business continues to support a thriving open source project.

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