Speaking of helping people, I’ve been meaning to ask the above question more explicitly for a long while: how can we at RedMonk help you? By you, I mean the various non-commercial entities we work/interact/etc with – individual developers, small or open source projects, etc? We’ve tried to do our part and be a good citizen of the various communities we work with, either by offering pro bono advice, helping developers connect with the media or cool job opportunities, brokering introductions to our ISV customer base, releasing reports and blogs under free CC licenses (look for news there in a month or two), and giving some pub to up and coming projects like yubnub or lesscode. In the future (i.e. whenever I get around to figuring out Zones in Solaris 10), we’re likely to explore hosting small projects on the infrastructure we have at our disposal.
But we do want to be sure that we’re giving enough back, not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it benefits us in interesting and difficult to predict ways. For example, when I posted this job opportunity on behalf of a good contact of ours, the reward is not solely to our contact and the folks whose resumes I passed on. We received some interesting feedback from some of the folks interested in the opportunity that advanced our understanding of current data management trends, and actually received follow up pings from several clients of ours interested in the same resumes collected for the initial request. My conversations with folks like Donnie and Jeff, for example, (which I hope they found valuable) have given me a better understanding of the Gentoo and Ubuntu projects which I used with a customer just yesterday. The net? Helping you guys helps us, and our clients. Not always, of course, but often as not it’s a win/win.
Being relatively free with our feedback and advice has its challenges at times. I got a call from a management consultancy two days ago that essentially wanted to pick my brain on the Google topic for free, and occasionally a vendor here and there will abuse our commitment to providing free feedback and insights on what are supposed to be briefings. But by and large I think that for us, and the communities we deal with, the craigslist “generally people are ok” ethos holds up. Commercial folks understand that we have mortgages and bills to pay and are increasingly comfortable paying us (our sales guy is on quite a roll of late ;), while community folks and individual developers and architects seem to understand that we’re not like some of the other industry analyst firms out there, we’re actually here to help.
Anyway, while we obviously can’t help everyone, and have obvious people, economic and infrastructure limitations – we do want to make sure that you all know our door’s open. We might not be able to help, but we’ll certainly try. So if there’s something we might be able to do for you, drop us a line. And when all of you brilliant devs go on to found the next Google, don’t forget about your friends at little old RedMonk 😉