Beefy Boxes and Bandwidth Generously Provided by pair Networks
more useful options

Re: Does Perl Have a Business Plan?

by punch_card_don (Curate)
on Mar 22, 2013 at 15:01 UTC ( #1024939=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Does Perl Have a Business Plan?

Interesting reads, thanks.

Just my opinion, but I think that if I were a Perl God, I would be wondering if it weren't time to start thinking of Perl in some business contexts, if someone's not already doing so.

A typical large business owner/manager sees several facets to his company. One, as a tool to make money, 'cause, let's all admit it, money may not gurantee happiness, but a lack of it can make life pretty darn sad. Two, good businessmen really believe their product makes a positive contribution to the world in some unique way. It's better than others, or less expensive (leaving more in families' pockets for other things), or something positive. So there is a real motivation to keep the product evolving, improving, making the world better. And three, the company provides a decent living for its employees. There is a responsibility to the peons to capitalize on their personal investment and keep that living coming in.

Perl may have been "just a language" many years ago, but it has, by its success and lengevity, acquired some of these same facets.

It's a way that many people make their living. Because of its many qualities, it improves the world by making the programming that drives progress better, easier, more reliable. There is a real motivation to keep doing that. And, in my opinion, it has a responsibility to the many who've made a personal investment in it to do what's necessary to leverage that personal investment for further growth.

The existing model has certainly served Perl and its community very well. But I think Perl may have reached a level of maturity in the product life cycle that going forward it will need what every successful business needs: a central directing body of people skilled in making product life-cycle decisions on technical products like languages, and a business plan that includes market research, a market positioning strategy, technical R&D, product development, and then a serious sales & marketing effort to trumpet to the world that Perl "X" has everything they could dream of in a language, and show both companies and developers that they really want to get on board.

These are just the ABC's of any successful commercial venture. And I think Perl, despite having no shareholders, has acquired the characteristics and needs of a commercial venture.

Now, all this would need funding. Dedicated volunteer idealists will only take you so far. So step one would be devising a plan by which some kind of funding can be had. This is one of the epic conundrums of the digital, open source, world. But it has to be solved. I don't know if Perl appeals to large corporate partners for some sort of exchange (ex: funding for advertising as a sponsor), or if there are opportunities for the Perl infrastructure to generate its own revenues (please, don't say "book sales!"), but there are people expert in finding sources of revenue for worthy projects.

Step two is talent needs definition and acquisition. In many business cases, eventually the engineering genii who built the company must relent and let evil business development experts take the reins.

Then the research, the strategy, the business plan, and the execution.

I'm sure Perl 6 is wonderful. But even as Apple is rolling out the latest iPad, they still have people drumming up marketing campaigns, sales networks in high gear, and strategists already doing the market research for the next revision. That's what gives adopters confidence that this latest version isn't just a one-off, or the end of the line, and yes they can invest in it too.

Perl is an excellent language. It's gone far on its strengths and the fervour of many visionaries. I firmly believe it has the potential to continue to fulfill those roles of improving the world and providing a living for its adherents. I think that future potential could be most fully realized by thinking more like a business venture.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: Does Perl Have a Business Plan?
by igelkott (Priest) on Mar 22, 2013 at 23:48 UTC

    While I trust that Perl will be around for many years to come, it's certainly suffering from attrition, or at least, a lack of new recruits. Without new programmers and popular support, few will be left to just maintain what we have. Sad as it may be, the current course eventually leads to obscurity.

    OK, so what? Is it better to let Perl die of natural causes or help it survive and grow? Your inspirational "call-to-arms" clearly supports the latter. To be honest, it's ambitious enough to be a Mission Statement -- a beautiful goal which isn't necessarily realistic. It seems difficult to form such an organized campaign (and uncertain to have any significant effect) but it certainly won't happen without trying.

    As crazy as it may be (no offense), I like the idea and would love to see it actually happen. At the very least, it's nice to have hope for Perl, whether you consider it to be an end-in-itself or just one of your favorite tools. We should keep looking for opportunities to promote/maintain Perl ... at least as long as it's helpful and/or fun.

    Thanks for the well-written proposal and interesting thread.

Log In?

What's my password?
Create A New User
Node Status?
node history
Node Type: note [id://1024939]
and the web crawler heard nothing...

How do I use this? | Other CB clients
Other Users?
Others chilling in the Monastery: (3)
As of 2020-10-30 04:51 GMT
Find Nodes?
    Voting Booth?
    My favourite web site is:

    Results (277 votes). Check out past polls.