Subject: Re: Marketing FSB Services - A Strategic Opportunity?
From: Alex <xela@MIT.EDU>
Date: Mon, 23 Dec 2002 14:40:27 -0500

> > I'm aware of a potential opportunity for a consultant with experience
> > in free software and open standards
> 
> > Does anyone have suggestions on how to find this kind of consultant?
> > Is there a well known place where FSB consultants and potential clients
> > meet? 
> 
> Possible starting points:
> 	http://www.gnu.org/prep/service.html
> 	http://www.debian.org/consultants/

If you're looking for someone familiar with a particular project, 
a google search on 

    consultants site:<canonical.site>

should yield something useful for most major open source projects; 
e.g. with site:netbsd.org you'll find
http://www.netbsd.org/gallery/consultants.html
close to the top.

Your best bet is to be connected enough to the community to be able
to find good people via an "I know someone who knows someone" chain.
If you're not that well connected, you can still try local community

resources.  For example, it seems likely the Greater Seattle Linux
Users Group (gslug.org) would have an appropriate mailing list.  I
personally know one guy in the Seattle area who might be useful,
depending on the exact nature of the work; I'll send his contact
info in private mail.

Is there an FSB opportunity lurking here?  I'd like to think so,
but I don't.  It would take a lot of work to maintain a broadly
useful open source consultants' directory, and I don't think
there's a workable revenue model for it.  I seem to recall several
variations on the theme during the bubble, but I doubt any of them
still exist.  The problem is trust:  at one point late in the
bubble I realized that if I'd gotten a headhunter's fee every time
one of my friends took a job I'd told them about, I'd be ahead
$100k or so --- but conversely, if I were trying to make money off
of it, none of the people involved would have trusted me in the
first place.  I don't believe you can commercialize such a delicate
web of trust without destroying it.  

---Alex

Carl Alexander                                            KD7GUR
------------- MIT
xela AT mit.edu   Course VI (sometime special student)      SIPB
                  Mitgaard ("honorary mold")              MITSFS
                  http://www.mit.edu/~xela
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carl AT terc.edu  Sr. Systems & Network Administrator, TERC
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