My wood guy dumped off our cord of winter wood a couple of weeks ago so I spent this beautiful Vermont Saturday morning performing the annual ritual of moving the wood pile from the side of the house to the back, then stacking it into 2 rows. Below is a photo of the original pile location, shown moved and cleaned, with the second photo of the wood stacked and covered behind the garage. I physically relocate the pile by tying back branches of the corner tree with bungee cords, then slinging the pieces by hand through the gap and over the picket fence.
Sharing my annual wood stacking ritual with you, as fascinating as that might be, is not the primary reason for this post. I wanted to mention the phenomenal podcast from my “Podcast Keepers” playlist I listened to on my Zune while working, Paul Graham’s keynote presentation at OSCON 2005. Perhaps it fired me up so much because it reinforced the wisdom in my transition to Open Source online community application development.
Some of the points Graham made were that commercial enterprise software companies get to a price point in licensing that they can’t “scale down,” no longer able to serve the huge market of small to medium sized businesses. The business model feeds on itself with more and more of the company’s budget having to go into sales and marketing rather than R&D. Graham’s review of the tenants of Open Source Applications were reinforcing as well, one of which was the various benefits of having an enthusiastic developer community around the product. Graham took a 10K filing from Siebel and compared each area of revenue and expense with a software company whose products were based on the Open Source model. That was pretty illuminating.
In conclusion, if you haven’t done your winter wood stacking yet (it’s almost the end of August, so don’t dilly-dally around!), this is definitely a podcast to stack wood by.