Having an office close to the main office, having an environment that is
shared with colleagues who way are sharing their impressive usability
improvements are tangible benefits. The cost of the office space conforms to
The natural state of these discussions is that there are always people
pissing in the wind. That spoils things somewhat.
The benefits of this deal are quite obvious and material. The work done both
by Wikia and Wikimedia Foundation is open source. Both organisations will
benefit because of the new emphasis on usability. It is the WMF that
benefits most because they have to catch up. Wikia will only start to
benefit when their usability improvements are adopted. Some of the Wikia
improvemets will be more then welcome.
2009/1/23 Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton(a)gmail.com>
2009/1/23 Erik Moeller <erik(a)wikimedia.org>rg>:
2009/1/23 David Levy
Erik Moeller wrote:
* We've suggested to Wikia a fair market rate
based on the average of
the other options we obtained;
* After some negotiation, Wikia accepted. Weighing other pros and cons
of the space against other options, we decided to go with Wikia;
To clarify, did Wikia match the lowest bid?
No, and we didn't ask them to. We obtained about a dozen bids, ranging
from about $150 to $565 per person/month. Obviously all those spaces
had different characteristics. Wikia was in the running because it
had desirable characteristics from the start (high proximity, shared
kitchen access, shared speakerphone use, shared Internet connection,
etc.). We used averaging as a way to arrive at a fair market rate to
neither advantage nor disadvantage Wikia when suggesting a rate. The
averaging also resulted in a rate that was roughly equivalent to the
most comparable space in the running.
Is that common practice for US charities? I'm not sure that would cut
it in the UK...
Wikia, too, looked at different potential tenants
for the space. The
final rate we negotiated was slightly higher than the most comparable
option we looked at (and considered very seriously, including a site
visit). However, the relative advantages of the Wikia space
compensated for that. We were quite careful not to draw any special
advantages from our relationship to Wikia, and Wikia was careful to
treat us in our negotiations like any other tenant. While we're likely
to work with them on technical aspects of the projects, we were also
careful to keep that completely separate.
You don't just need to avoid a COI, you need to avoid the perception
of one. This deal will, undoubtedly, be interpreted by many as an
inside job. I'm sure it isn't, but that's how a lot of people will see
it. Did you consider the PR cost when weighing it all up?
foundation-l mailing list