Facing the end of the second month on my new job, things move slow but forward, as always happens with new projects.
I've been working hard to open communication channels between companies. Interaction is more usual at a technical level than at a manegement level in every free soft. company and we are no exception. We know how to interact in a lower level. We've learned it by collaborating in free software communities, but at higher levels....that's another story.
The good point is that most of the managers and owners of ASOLIF companies come from the technical world. In fact, most of them begun as free software developers. They want to interact as managers as they did as technicians.
So how can we achieve this goal when not all of the information a company handles can be public, can be shared? How does cooperation is possible when you compete everyday?
Big companies can organice themselves in departments with different procedures, so they can interact with different profiles at different levels. Small companies cannot. For individuals is hard to be transparent for just certain activities and not for others. In ASOLIF have to deal with that duplicity.
The little time they have for ASOLIF activities is invested with big dosis of enthusiasm. Managers love what they do. I feel that good energy. Not so long ago I was like one of them so it is a well known situation for me. Bringing them a space where the can share all that good energy eventhough they live in different places is a really cool goal. It can make a difference for them, for ASOLIF and for our workers (I don't like this word), our customer.
ASOLIF board knows pretty much about how free soft. communities (FSC) work and they want to take that transparent way of doing things into this (we hope it'll become soon) community of small free soft. companies (a little more than 150 so far). This is a major objetive. We are just on the first step of the journey. I feel like the Santa María helmsman, sailing west.
Companies have different motivations and responsabilities than individuals so not everything that works for FSC will work for us. We have one thing in common though: I'm surrounded by hackers, economic system hackers. As tech hackers are doing since long time ago, they want to hack the system...but at a different level. Economic relations in our sector do not have to be gregarious. We want to turn them into mutualism.
This job is going to be fun.