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Re: [ossig] [OSSIG] Proposal for the formation of an OSS Industry Association

Phew, was too busy to check this list for 3 days and I come back to 60! 
messages on this thread alone !
Good to see a great deal of interest
I'm going to be out of the country from the 20th June to 4th July, 
perhaps we can plan a face to face meet sometime after I return?

On Jun 4, 2004, at 14:59, Colin Charles wrote:
> Think of the smaller organisations - OpenSOS might be comparatively
> larger than one-man-shop organisations, whom do different work, and
> excel at their tasks

OpenSOS is a 3 man operation which means we have higher overheads than 
your average 1 man shows :(
> but raising the bar for paying of fees, where
> the immediate gain might not actually be seen, is pointless

thats not a problem, the numbers I'm suggesting are arbitrary, based 
mainly on the max I think I can afford to pay :)

> No. Each individual company wins a bid and keeps the revenue for
> themselves.

thats not in question, the association needs to generate revenues but 
not from the activities of its members
however, members should spend some resources to help the association 
generate revenue
seminars, training and even certification
I'm keen on the idea of certification ... the association through the 
membership can come up with training materials and exams for 
eg MOSSIA certified Linux / FreeBSD Administrator or MOSSIA certified 
MySQL DBA for example

> As a token, maybe a small fee based on bid revenue should be
> charged

yes or some commission / referral fee ... not on revenue though, based 
on an agreed "gross profit" calculation

> But the industry association doesn't do
> training/consultancy/certification/etc...

I don't see why not, I don't mean specific product training which 
members do as a business but awareness courses - something like OSS 101 
, consulting in the manner of advising clients/government bodies on 
overall open source adoption (where a vendor would be considered to 
have a vested interest) - generic areas which do not compete with 

I was also thinking in terms of something like APNIC. I was fortunate 
to have had the opportunity to be on the executive council of APNIC for 
18 months. APNIC is the Internet Resource Registry for the Asia Pacific 
Region, they control and allocate IP address blocks, AS Numbers etc for 
Members pay fees based on size and get resources proportionally, BIG 
ISPs get bigger IP blocks allocated and get more votes. APNIC itself is 
a legal entity, registered in the Seychelles (if memory serves me 
right) and has an executive council (elected from the membership) which 
basically manages the paid staff and does the bidding of its members. 
APNIC organises a bi-annual conference called APRICOT - Asia Pacific 
Regional Internet Conference on Operational Technologies. It is a 
pay-for conference (members pay less) and the idea is to allow ISPs to 
share knowledge and network (social). They run training and tutorials 
etc. Less developed ISPs can get sponsorship for their staff to attend. 
All resources to organise the conference and speakers, trainers etc are 
volunteers from members plus volunteers from the host country's 
organiser ... of course vendors sponsor parts of the event, like 
lunches, tea breaks, night social events etc and they pay for display 
booths and contribute speakers

I was thinking MOSSIA could operate like the APNIC model where members 
contribute resources time, expertise
of course members continue their own product specific training, 
solutions consultancy etc

However one of the key things I had in mind was that if individual 
members cannot get into a particular bid due to constraints (no MOF 
reg, not enuff paid up cap), the association can become the bidder (I'm 
not sure on the mechanism of how to do this though - ie can an 
association get MoF registration or can this be waived) - also the 
legality of an industry association bidding for contracts .... the 
whole idea is individuals are too small but united we become greater 
than the sum of our parts

>> Yes, if we can't trust each other not just an association like this
>> will be doomed to failure
> Ethics comes into mind

yeah, I expect there will need to be some way to check this
APNIC has a way of bringing errant members into line ... withdrawal of 
IP address blocks :)
We will need something similar, if not a negative incentive, a positive 

> Have you not heard the famous Asian saying, "there are ten steps to 
> kung
> fu, but I'll teach you only 8" - so that said teacher can always remain
> the master...

hahah actually no, but yeah, it seems to be an Asian thing, a form of 
kiasuism, if I teach you, you may become better than me, so I better 
not teach you

> The giving attitude is very, very slack

I expect the techies of the open source community are different .... 
business people on the other hand ....
I can't remember the name of this test...something to do with trust:

Two partners in crime are arrested and  isolated from each other
If one blabs, and the other doesn't the blabber gets half sentence and 
the other gets double sentence
if both keep mum, both go free

hmm, not sure if I got that right..

anyway the idea is individually we will be competing against each 
other, one wins and one will lose
united, we will win bigger things


Tze Meng

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