[Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony wikilegal at inbox.org
Sat May 19 01:07:27 UTC 2007

On 5/18/07, Florence Devouard <Anthere9 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Actually, I have more idea that I would want to say, because I believe
> saying it publicly would not be good business :-)
> But getting good figures is a priority. Which is why I discussed in
> length the issue with Carolyn about 2 months ago, and Carolyn and the
> accountant are currently working on categorizing revenue and expenses,
> which will allow us to have a much better feedback. She is also
> currently preparing all data to get ready for the audit.
Regular financial statements were promised by Brad almost a year ago.
But today you make the statement: "I have some estimates of some
values for the current year. But I do not have clear precise data
month by month."  Forget about *getting* pathetic.  That *is*

> We do business. That is not a wish, that is a statement. Now, we do not
> do it very well, and staff is already overworked, so can not give more
> time to it.
> Two solutions. One is to proceed not doing it well since no time. We can
> decide not to answer the phone as well, and to put propositions received
> by mail in the trash. Make no DVDs. No datafeed.
> The other is to better organize the area. Which is our choice.
The WMF is not a business.  It's a publicly supported charity.  As
such, I think the proper solution is to limit business activities as
much as possible.  For instance, data feed services should focus on
the distribution aspects (getting a datafeed to as many people as
possible) instead of the profiteering aspects (making as much money
off the datafeed as possible).

> Now, please take a step backward.
> Do you remember that just ONE year ago, we had only 2 employees, one
> being Brion in California (so, tech area) and the other Danny (the "do
> it all", "save the day" man) ? We did not have any clean financial
> statements ? Officially, Jimbo was our CEO, so in charge of accounting,
> which he did not really have time to do.
> In one year, we created an office. There are people working in, issuing
> data we can rely on. We have enough money to run with, without having to
> bother you every couple of weeks. The website is hardly down any more
> now, which was not the case 2 years ago, whilst the traffic was much
> smaller. We pay our bills. And we pay them in time (not the case a year
> ago). Our financial statements may not be perfectly detailed, but they
> are *clean*. We have people answering the phone. We have a framework to
> receive interns (not the case a year ago). We have a file server in the
> office and a secure network. We set up a fundraising database to track
> every donation. We set up an acceptable procedure (by audit standard) to
> receive checks and cash them. And so on.
> And this is *getting* pathetic ?
> Hardly.
Fair enough, you've accomplished a number of things in the past year.
You've gone from Jimbo as CEO to Brad as ED to having no one as CEO or
ED - three steps each progressing beyond the previous.  But it seems
to me things are progressing far far too slowly.  I say that this is
getting pathetic not in that things are getting worse, but that more
and more time is going by without the glaring problems being resolved.


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