OpenBSD Journal

DixonGroup OpenBSD Enterprise Bundle: Two Years Later

Contributed by jason on from the ideas-should-be-kept-to-oneself dept.

Two years ago, I took it upon myself to generate a new source of donations for the OpenBSD project. By donating my experience and time, I had hoped that folks would step up and put their money where their mouth was. The community response was very positive, even to the point that some people were concerned I would be overwhelmed by orders. Unfortunately for OpenBSD, nothing of the sort ever came to happen.

Over the course of the "experiment", I've had a handful of users contact me inquiring about the Enterprise Bundle. Often it would lead to a phone call, although more often than not it was a few emails back and forth. The prospective clients were what I had expected when I first came up with the idea: large businesses or organizations with OpenBSD users who wanted to support the project with donations, but found the lack of not-for-profit status, or lack of tangible goods in return, an obstacle to the financial overseers within. The Enterprise Bundle was an effort to clear those hurdles, offering businesses a tangible consulting service with the payments fully routed to the OpenBSD project.

We finally received our first order in December 2006. Chris Cameron of NetThruPut, Inc. ordered the Small Business Bundle for his employer. I'd like to personally thank Chris and NetThruPut for stepping up and donating to OpenBSD. If more companies would come forward and support the project through CD sales, direct donations, or even through "alternative channels" like the DixonGroup consulting bundles, we'd allow the OpenBSD developers more time to dedicate to hardware driver support, new filesystem advancements, and cool new daemons like hoststated(8), rather than spinning their wheels trying to keep the project funded.

(Comments are closed)


Comments
  1. By Bret Lambert (tbert) bret.lambert@gmail.com on

    One of my regrets from the time I spent as the sole admin at a DC nonprofit is that I didn't order one of these when I had the ability to get the CFO to sign most anything I put in front of him.

    I've helped finance the project in other ways (read: donated hardware), but there's nothing quite as flexible (or sexy :) as cold, hard cash.

    Comments
    1. By Jason Dixon (jason) jason@dixongroup.net on http://www.dixongroup.net/?q=openbsd

      > One of my regrets from the time I spent as the sole admin 
      > at a DC nonprofit is that I didn't order one of these 
      > when I had the ability to get the CFO to sign most anything 
      > I put in front of him.
      > 
      > I've helped finance the project in other ways (read: 
      > donated hardware), but there's nothing quite as flexible 
      > (or sexy :) as cold, hard cash.
      

      Just for that you've been nominated as the next CapBUG speaker. :)

      Comments
      1. By Bret Lambert (tbert) on

        > Just for that you've been nominated as the next CapBUG speaker. :)

        Dude, you're such an ass :p

        Seriously, right now, I got nothin'

        Unless you want a presentation on the various ways in which rpm installers make me want to cause a workplace incident?

  2. By kokamomi (83.227.181.37) on http://img.microsoft.com/global/044fe783-90cc-4150-abb7-c854e267a88c.jpg

    i don't think this will change demand drastically but anyway:

    maybe there should be an image of the "product". preferably repackaged in one of those shiny oversized cardbord boxes. =)

    (nasty example: http://img.microsoft.com/global/044fe783-90cc-4150-abb7-c854e267a88c.jpg)

    the look of something more than a dvd-case might help convincing the bosses.

    but then again, maybe you could fill up the space by throwing in the secure architectures book and a loose-leaf binder with the man pages in the deal... the win-win logic being less utilized phone support for you and beefed up value(weight)-for-money for the customer.

    Comments
    1. By Johan Torin (jtorin) on

      > the look of something more than a dvd-case might help convincing the bosses.

      I had an idea one day, although I'm not entirely sure if it's a good idea, or if it would be received well by the project (too much noise on misc@ as it is).

      Anyway, since 4.0 we have this nifty DVD-box and as so the (technical) cover design has been greatly simplified. While I absolutely adore the release themes over the years, they could be a tough sell to your (PH) boss if the case design looks something like a kids movie. So... Make the cover inlet turnable, print a "corporate adjusted" design on one side, the standard themed design on the other!

      Obvious drawback: Theo&co would never back down from their stance of development (and isn't that partly why we stay?).

      Comments
      1. By Kevin (163.192.21.42) on

        > > the look of something more than a dvd-case might help convincing the bosses.
        . . .
        > Anyway, since 4.0 we have this nifty DVD-box and as so the (technical) cover design has been greatly simplified. While I absolutely adore the release themes over the years, they could be a tough sell to your (PH) boss if the case design looks something like a kids movie. So... Make the cover inlet turnable, print a "corporate adjusted" design on one side, the standard themed design on the other!

        My boss almost tossed out the 4.0 CD set when it came in the mail, thought it was some kid's movie or something.

        I like this idea, but since the DVD insert is a standard size, somebody could just come up with "corporate adjusted" artwork as a downloadable file for us wage slaves to download and print?

        Comments
        1. By Anonymous Coward (70.179.123.124) on

          > I like this idea, but since the DVD insert is a standard size, somebody could just come up with "corporate adjusted" artwork as a downloadable file for us wage slaves to download and print?

          Or you could just make your own from existing files; this:

          https://https.openbsd.org/images/tshirt-23.gif

          would probably fit the bill, with some minor tweaks (e.g., stick the version just after the name in your image editor of choice, print, and voila, instantly more corporate-friendly cover).

      2. By Tom Van Looy (213.119.198.47) on

        I created something you might like.
        look at http://puffy.ctors.net/

        Comments
        1. By Anonymous Coward (65.248.199.227) on

          > I created something you might like.
          > look at http://puffy.ctors.net/

          This kind of thing makes me sick. Consider that maybe the developers don't want to hide the fact that they have fun with what they do. That maybe the artwork is nothing to be ashamed of. That maybe they don't want to kiss corporate ass. And that maybe what you've done here insults them.

          Comments
          1. By Anonymous Coward (74.238.123.249) on

            > > I created something you might like.
            > > look at http://puffy.ctors.net/
            >
            > This kind of thing makes me sick. Consider that maybe the developers don't want to hide the fact that they have fun with what they do. That maybe the artwork is nothing to be ashamed of. That maybe they don't want to kiss corporate ass. And that maybe what you've done here insults them.

            I didn't get to see the link because it was taken down due to legal concerns, but honestly... you miss the point completely.

            An Enterprise package that clients pay for is not about the developers, silly... it's about the clients! If the clients want what is directly from the developers, they would just dl it themselves and live with the fancy artwork and harsh community support that comes with the very public OBSD project straight from the developers. But they are paying for something... they are paying for support, they are paying for a warm fuzzy feeling... they might even be paying for professionalism in customer service support.

            This is not a slight on the developers... they have every right and license to conduct themselves as they do... and I would never ask them to change the way they are just for a buck.

            But if someone else not officially a developer decides to offer Enterprise support for OBSD installations... and if they want to be successful... drop the artwork, put on a tie, and a say "Yes sir, we'll get right on that. We're here so you don't have to deal with the devs or the community at large... you're an Enterprise, and because you pay us we're going to treat you that way."

            Otherwise, don't get into the Enterprise support business... because that's what companies pay for.

            Now when Jason talks about success of this Enterprise support initiative, I've got to be honest, I can see why companies would be wary. No slight on Jason (as I've personally benefited from the free advice he's given in the forums, and I'm grateful for that) but one I went to your website, and it was still under construction, with broken links.

            Who wants to buy enterprise support from a company with half a website? It's like saying "Trust us. Look at our half constructed website on OBSD... now pay us and we'll do ... the same for you?" That's just not going to work.

            Personally, I'd shut down Enterprise support for now until it can be totally repackaged in a format palatable for those that will lay down the hard money for it... clean up the website, put together more professional product packaging (I mean the support product, not the artwork on the DVD), and maybe even collude with other companies for ancillary support on specific portions of the OS...

            ready for flames...

        2. By Ray Percival (sng) on http://undeadly.org/cgi?action=search&sort=time&query=sng

          > I created something you might like.
          > look at http://puffy.ctors.net/

          You've just violated Theo's trademark with a whiffle bat. Kind of ironic. Also IT depts -should- be having fun. Any good manager knows this and encourages it. Oh and that is fugly and you seem to be colourblind.

  3. By Anonymous Coward (kevinfluet) undeadly.org@fluet.com on

    I think this form of fund raising is an EXCELLENT idea, but I think it was implemented poorly.

    I say this because I had NO idea this program existed. Where was it advertised? Is there a link somewhere from the OpenBSD site?

    As a minor suggestion, I would recommend that the consulting time not expire for a year rather than for 60 days. That way, someone won't think they should wait until they actually need support before they purchase a bundle.

    Comments
    1. By Jason Dixon (jason) jason@dixongroup.net on http://www.dixongroup.net/?q=openbsd

      > I think this form of fund raising is an EXCELLENT idea, but I think 
      > it was implemented poorly.
      > 
      > I say this because I had NO idea this program existed.  Where 
      > was it advertised?  Is there a link somewhere from the OpenBSD site?  
      

      It is not an OpenBSD product, hence it has no reason to appear on the OpenBSD site. It is listed on my website, in the original undeadly article, and the misc@ archives (all of which are Googled). I received literally hundreds of private emails that were overwhelmingly positive.

      > As a minor suggestion, I would recommend that the consulting 
      > time not expire for a year rather than for 60 days.  That way, 
      > someone won't think they should wait until they actually need 
      > support before they purchase a bundle.
      

      I have a better suggestion. Offer up the "Anonymous Coward Enterprise Bundle" and extend yourself for a year. See how many orders you get, I'll guarantee it's no more than I received.

      You just don't get it. People didn't purchase it because it was a bad idea, or because it the support period only extended "X" number of days. It wasn't purchased because the same folks who always post to misc@ that "[they] would happily purchase/donate more money to OpenBSD if only there was an enterprise-friendly method" are full of it. The opportunity has been there, and they refused to step up and put their money where their mouth is.

      Let me say this one last time... this isn't about purchasing anything. It's about providing an enterprise-friendly method for supporting the OpenBSD project. Take a few minutes to let that soak in before you blindly reply.

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward (24.37.236.100) on

        >
        > I think this form of fund raising is an EXCELLENT idea, but I think
        > it was implemented poorly.
        >
        > I say this because I had NO idea this program existed. Where
        > was it advertised? Is there a link somewhere from the OpenBSD site?
        >
        >
        > It is not an OpenBSD product, hence it has no reason to appear on the OpenBSD site. It is listed on my website, in the original undeadly article, and the misc@ archives (all of which are Googled). I received literally hundreds of private emails that were overwhelmingly positive.
        >
        >
        > As a minor suggestion, I would recommend that the consulting
        > time not expire for a year rather than for 60 days. That way,
        > someone won't think they should wait until they actually need
        > support before they purchase a bundle.
        >
        >
        > I have a better suggestion. Offer up the "Anonymous Coward Enterprise Bundle" and extend yourself for a year. See how many orders you get, I'll guarantee it's no more than I received.
        >
        > You just don't get it. People didn't purchase it because it was a bad idea, or because it the support period only extended "X" number of days. It wasn't purchased because the same folks who always post to misc@ that "[they] would happily purchase/donate more money to OpenBSD if only there was an enterprise-friendly method" are full of it. The opportunity has been there, and they refused to step up and put their money where their mouth is.
        >
        > Let me say this one last time... this isn't about purchasing anything. It's about providing an enterprise-friendly method for supporting the OpenBSD project. Take a few minutes to let that soak in before you blindly reply.
        >
        >

        I agree with the point of the parent poster. As a side not, perhaps you should learn to take constructive criticism, constructively!

        I myself never knew about this either and finding it from google wouldn't make me 'trust' some joe bloe's website, so to speak. Who knows where that money really goes (rhetorically).

        It's a hard thing to sell when an individual does it rather than OpenBSD themselves backing something like this up or a 'larger' well known group of people globally... and with a reply like... "...are full of it", I don't think attitude like that will do you any better.

        Simply put, you have the right idea but not the 'best' approach to it IMO.

        Company XYZ says, "well, we throw money away at MS, Cisco and/or RH because of the support contract or whatever; OpenBSD doesn't provide us with that... yadda, yadda...".

        Some companies unfortunately tend think in terms of support at a different level and a place that will take responsibility when something doesn't fully work or is broken.

        It's also hard for someone to say to their company "...well, I know this guy that runs a website that offers support for OpenBSD..."

        I think is just takes a bigger corporate backing of some sort and/or some other form of global community driven support, something of a larger scale...

        PS: Nice website BTW and still, good work!

        Just my $0.02...

        Mike Woods

        Comments
        1. By Anonymous Coward (67.64.89.177) on

          And you prove to be just like the others. Blah blah blah.

          Comments
          1. By Anonymous Coward (70.169.167.212) on

            > And you prove to be just like the others. Blah blah blah.

            And you prove to know absolutely nothing about real-world business.

            I'm not surprised one bit that this didn't take off. Red Hat didn't get to where it is overnight, either. You've got to have a solid business plan and execute on it for quite a while. The old saying that "you don't start turning a profit until five years or so" is quite true. Even then, Red Hat, to start turning a profit, had to modify its business model mid-stream to one that actually makes money.

            You want to make money in the "enterprise" consulting business? You've got to Sell, Sell, Sell and appear reputable to those with rights to the checkbook. That obviously didn't happen here. You didn't reach the right people, and you didn't make enough of an effort to do so. Chalk it up to experience, kiddo, you learned a valuable business lesson with this.

            Comments
            1. By Jason Dixon (jason) jason@dixongroup.net on http://www.dixongroup.net/?q=openbsd

              > And you prove to know absolutely nothing about real-world business.
              >
              > I'm not surprised one bit that this didn't take off.  Red Hat didn't get 
              > to where it is overnight, either.  You've got to have a solid business 
              > plan and execute on it for quite a while.  The old saying that 
              > "you don't start turning a profit until five years or so" is quite true.  
              > Even then, Red Hat, to start turning a profit, had to modify its business 
              > model mid-stream to one that actually makes money.
              > 
              > You want to make money in the "enterprise" consulting business?  
              > You've got to Sell, Sell, Sell and appear reputable to those with 
              > rights to the checkbook.  That obviously didn't happen here.  
              > You didn't reach the right people, and you didn't make enough 
              > of an effort to do so.  Chalk it up to experience, kiddo, you 
              > learned a valuable business lesson with this.
              

              Wow, you are so out of context it's laughable. I'm not going to waste my time flaming you in front of everyone else. Please go back and read the product page, the original article, then re-read my response to the parent.

              Hint: "t's about providing an enterprise-friendly method for supporting the OpenBSD project."

              P.S. Ok, I lied. I have to assume you can't read, so I'll spell it out again for everone else. I make nothing off this service. Every cent I bring in goes directly to the OpenBSD project. My time and my experience are the collateral. Can you hear me now?

              P.P.S. I do quite well for myself, thank you very much. I don't need any additional "enterprise" consulting business. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and quite frankly, I'm good at it.

              Comments
              1. By Anonymous Coward (70.169.167.212) on

                > Wow, you are so out of context it's laughable. I'm not going to waste my time flaming you in front of everyone else. Please go back and read the product page, the original article, then re-read my response to the parent.
                >
                > Hint: "t's about providing an enterprise-friendly method for supporting the OpenBSD project."


                I did. The bottom line is that you didn't sell the product. That means you didn't do what you needed to do to sell the product. Period.


                > P.S. Ok, I lied. I have to assume you can't read, so I'll spell it out again for everone else. I make nothing off this service. Every cent I bring in goes directly to the OpenBSD project. My time and my experience are the collateral. Can you hear me now?
                >

                Whatever you consider to be your personal reward here (apparently in this case, the personal satisfaction of more money for the OpenBSD project, a noble goal) is irrelevant. What *is* relevant is that you didn't sell the product, thus not getting that personal reward. Learn what you need to learn about how to increase sales of this product and try again.


                > P.P.S. I do quite well for myself, thank you very much. I don't need any additional "enterprise" consulting business. I do what I do because I enjoy it, and quite frankly, I'm good at it.
                >

                Great! That's wonderful, and I hope for your continued success! And even for those like you who are doing "quite well" for themselves, they sometimes fail in an effort. That's what happened here. Analyze it, find out how to increase your sales, and by all means go forward!

                If you want this experiment to succeed, you've got to get in front of those with the checkbooks and make the business case. A warm fuzzy about helping the OpenBSD project isn't going to affect those people any more than it affects Cisco or Sun, both long-time OpenSSH users. See this link from the Blog of Helios for some good--and correct--advice on this, from Helios's current CEO, one "Chuck E. Owens." It's a long entry; search for the part beginning with "Chuck, you got a minute?"

                http://blog.lobby4linux.com/archives/2006/12.html

                When you're ready to try again, I do wish you the best.

            2. By Anonymous Coward (67.64.89.177) on

              Right because world domination is what the project is all about.

              Thanks for your great unsolicited ideas that don't work. I am sure you are a fine specimen for management.

            3. By marco (not marco@) (208.0.111.110) on

              > > And you prove to be just like the others. Blah blah blah.
              >
              > And you prove to know absolutely nothing about real-world business.
              >
              > I'm not surprised one bit that this didn't take off. Red Hat didn't get to where it is overnight, either. You've got to have a solid business plan and execute on it for quite a while. The old saying that "you don't start turning a profit until five years or so" is quite true. Even then, Red Hat, to start turning a profit, had to modify its business model mid-stream to one that actually makes money.
              >
              > You want to make money in the "enterprise" consulting business? You've got to Sell, Sell, Sell and appear reputable to those with rights to the checkbook. That obviously didn't happen here. You didn't reach the right people, and you didn't make enough of an effort to do so. Chalk it up to experience, kiddo, you learned a valuable business lesson with this.



              how didn't he reach the right people? the "right people" were posting to misc@, regularly, asking for enterprise level/commerical support. that's where he advertised it, shortly after a spurt of noise from all sorts of people asking for it. and, like he said, next to none actually followed through. when it came time for them to put their money where their mouth is, they didn't. how is that a failure to "Sell, Sell, Sell" on his part? he stepped up, no one else did. had half of the people who were "interested" actually followed through, he probably would be eating ramen noodles for a good part of the year because he'd be busy enough with the free enterprise support he wouldn't have time for his other gigs

              Comments
              1. By Anonymous Coward (70.169.167.212) on

                > how didn't he reach the right people? the "right people" were posting to misc@, regularly, asking for enterprise level/commerical support. that's where he advertised it, shortly after a spurt of noise from all sorts of people asking for it. and, like he said, next to none actually followed through. when it came time for them to put their money where their mouth is, they didn't. how is that a failure to "Sell, Sell, Sell" on his part? he stepped up, no one else did. had half of the people who were "interested" actually followed through, he probably would be eating ramen noodles for a good part of the year because he'd be busy enough with the free enterprise support he wouldn't have time for his other gigs
                >

                First, you don't give away "enterprise support" for free. That's just bad business. IBM doesn't. The aforementioned Red Hat doesn't. Novell doesn't. Even Sendmail, Inc. doesn't. That's how you make money.

                Second, he clearly didn't reach those with "checkbook authority." There's an art to actually closing the deal. "Sell, Sell, Sell" means actually closing the deal and getting the money. I'd love to see OpenBSD enterprise-grade support too, but the odds of getting, say, any of my previous MIS Directors to go for it without an enterprise-grade presentation (on the part of the company selling said support, not me) is about like lightning striking Osama bin Laden in the next few seconds.

                I have enthusiasm for OpenBSD and Free Software in general. Unfortunately, I'm not of the Director level. I don't have checkbook authority. He's got to reach those with checkbook authority, and they do not typically "waste their time" posting on lists like misc@. They don't post on www.undeadly.org. They don't read NewsForge, or anything else. They read what someone that *they trust* and *like* has put in front of them. *That* is how vendors make sales--they come off trustworthy and likeable to those with the checkbook.

                *That* is the group of people that needs to be reached. And remember, whatever we, their underlings, say, very often tends to be discarded. Yes, their own employees. One rule that MBA schools often teach is, "don't trust your employees." Stupid, but true.

                *That* is why IBM and Red Hat are successful.

      2. By Richard Johnson (206.168.172.26) on

        > You just don't get it. People didn't purchase it because it was a bad idea, or because it the support period only extended "X" number of days. It wasn't purchased because the same folks who always post to misc@ that "[they] would happily purchase/donate more money to OpenBSD if only there was an enterprise-friendly method" are full of it. The opportunity has been there, and they refused to step up and put their money where their mouth is.


        Thanks for telling me I'm "full of it" when you didn't get the word out to me. The constructive criticism about lack of advertising and business plan are on target. I'm very sorry that you think posting to misc@ is sufficient for this kind of thing.

        I suppose now I'm going to be told I'm "full of it" when your demonstrated attitude issue causes me to decline risking my job by trying to get corporate masters to deal with you. Please tone down your insults, as they're not helping the project.

        Ah well, we'll probably continue buying (and giving out) OpenBSD CD sets for each machine until Theo and crowd can come up with an "official" way to make corporate payments.

  4. By Anonymous Coward (216.160.169.103) on

    The only thing that kept me from using this route was the PayPal method. I regularly get my manager to approve CD purchases on the order of 12 to 15 CDs per release using the department credit card. No problem.

    The problem comes from the accounting department. I have had to run circles to get them to understand that American$ <-> Canadian$ exchange rate causes minor differences in the totals after shipping is figured in. I have easily spent more time explaining than the amount of the difference.

    I shudder to think what it would take to explain a credit card charge to Paypal to the accounting folks. They understand and give us no hassle for lots of purchases on the department credit card, but balk at minor differences on US-Can$ transactions.

    If the Enterprise bundle was available via a plain credit card link, I'm in. That may be the real issue. I don't mind if credit card processing fees get taken out of the amount going to OpenBSD, but I don't want to have Dixon Consulting go to extra expense to set up credit card processing if it doesn't get used.

    Comments
    1. By Jason Dixon (66.16.10.2) jason@dixongroup.net on http://www.dixongroup.net/?q=openbsd

      > If the Enterprise bundle was available via a plain credit card link, I'm 
      > in.  That may be the real issue.  I don't mind if credit card processing 
      > fees get taken out of the amount going to OpenBSD, but I don't want to 
      > have Dixon Consulting go to extra expense to set up credit card 
      > processing if it doesn't get used.
      

      If you can convince Austin (austin@openbsd.org) and Theo to offer the bundle(s) on the OpenBSD (North America) store, that would be even less headache for me.

      Comments
      1. By Anonymous Coward (70.169.167.212) on

        >
        > If the Enterprise bundle was available via a plain credit card link, I'm
        > in. That may be the real issue. I don't mind if credit card processing
        > fees get taken out of the amount going to OpenBSD, but I don't want to
        > have Dixon Consulting go to extra expense to set up credit card
        > processing if it doesn't get used.
        >
        >
        > If you can convince Austin (austin@openbsd.org) and Theo to offer the bundle(s) on the OpenBSD (North America) store, that would be even less headache for me.
        >

        That'd be nice, but again, your customers are asking for a payment vector--a very popular one, in fact--and from the above, you're choosing not to provide it. Virtually every business in the USA and Canada takes credit cards, and if you don't, you may well be losing out on additional sales and profit. My employer is exactly the same; we have a corporate credit card, but PayPal purchases are definitely OUT.

        If the OpenBSD team itself can accept credit cards for its product, you certainly can for your product. Just build the 3% fee into the price of the product, like virtually everyone else does. If it's truly enterprise grade, nobody'll complain.

        Comments
        1. By Dan Farrell (74.238.123.249) danno@bellsouth.net on http://danno.appliedi.net/drupal/

          > >
          > > If the Enterprise bundle was available via a plain credit card link, I'm
          > > in. That may be the real issue. I don't mind if credit card processing
          > > fees get taken out of the amount going to OpenBSD, but I don't want to
          > > have Dixon Consulting go to extra expense to set up credit card
          > > processing if it doesn't get used.
          > >
          > >
          > > If you can convince Austin (austin@openbsd.org) and Theo to offer the bundle(s) on the OpenBSD (North America) store, that would be even less headache for me.
          > >
          >
          > That'd be nice, but again, your customers are asking for a payment vector--a very popular one, in fact--and from the above, you're choosing not to provide it. Virtually every business in the USA and Canada takes credit cards, and if you don't, you may well be losing out on additional sales and profit. My employer is exactly the same; we have a corporate credit card, but PayPal purchases are definitely OUT.
          >
          > If the OpenBSD team itself can accept credit cards for its product, you certainly can for your product. Just build the 3% fee into the price of the product, like virtually everyone else does. If it's truly enterprise grade, nobody'll complain.


          To me this speaks to the professionalism I've sqwaked about in other replies... few American sutffy corporations are going to have the confidence to do business with a small company that only does PayPal transactions... since I've bitched here and there let me be frank...

          I think the Dixon Group would likely provide amazing Enterprise support for those who contracted them for it... but I think the Dixon Group needs to contrast itself to the free community-based project if they expect to have serious sales.

          This includes payment processing, product packaging, website presentation, 800 number, etc. ... if you want the companies that really need and can afford this kind of service, then you need to present it to them in a way that THEY find attractive. Basically they need to think you wear a tie... not only to work... but to bed, too. You need to present yourself as the consummate professional.

          Don't offer it the way YOU think is RIGHT and then when only a few companies sign up wonder why it's not working. You have to think like THEM.

          I think this is a difficult paradigm shift for many in the OBSD community... and it's not that I blame them for that... most are in this community for that very reason... they aren't stuffy corporate types... personally, I'm not like that, either. But if I purported to offer a business service like that you can bet you bottom dollar I would. Simply for the reason that that's what my clients would expect.

          Hope I didn't bruise any egos with that...

          Comments
          1. By Terrell Prude' Jr. (70.169.167.212) tprude@cmosnetworks.com on

            How right you are. When I was in business for myself, I had to do credit cards, phone numbers, etc. All that stuff. I didn't do a lot of business in the town I was in, given the IT environment, but I did do plenty of out-of-state business. I had to present the professional appearance, in all ways. I just happened not to be a good salesman, so I went to work for someone else who is, and I learned much about that.

            If someone want to sell to enterprises, you are so right; that someone needs to speak enterprise-ese, whatever that happens to be at the time.

            --TP

  5. By Jim Razmus II (jim) jtr2-undeadly@bonetruck.org on http://www.bonetruck.org/

    I'm one the people who sent the "postive" emails. While we're not taking up Jason's offer yet, I have managed to get my employer buying CD sets for each machine we run. The cost doesn't even register relative to other support/maintenance bills. The benefits are significant though and a bargain for the cost of the CD set. My boss clearly understands that and supports buying the sets.

    Another benefit of this arrangement is getting to spread the love to potential users. There's no point in letting piles of release sets rot in my desk. I get to walk over and say "Here's a cd set. Take it for a spin."

  6. By Anonymous Coward (213.237.71.107) on

    Is it true that OpenBSD does not have not-for-profit status? If that is so and it is a hurdle for business related tax deductible donations, it sounds like it would be good to have an OpenBSD foundation (which might be separate from the legal entity that sells CD's, tee-shirts, etc.)?

    Comments
    1. By Anonymous Coward (61.125.130.65) on

      Is it true that OpenBSD does not have not-for-profit status? If that is so and it is a hurdle for business related tax deductible donations, it sounds like it would be good to have an OpenBSD foundation (which might be separate from the legal entity that sells CD's, tee-shirts, etc.)?

      In the past this has been discounted due to the extremely onerous red tape involved, as well as the potential restrictions on such a foundation's activities. However something is being worked on.

Latest Articles

Credits

Copyright © - Daniel Hartmeier. All rights reserved. Articles and comments are copyright their respective authors, submission implies license to publish on this web site. Contents of the archive prior to as well as images and HTML templates were copied from the fabulous original deadly.org with Jose's and Jim's kind permission. This journal runs as CGI with httpd(8) on OpenBSD, the source code is BSD licensed. undeadly \Un*dead"ly\, a. Not subject to death; immortal. [Obs.]