Open source community needs a haircut and to dress for success

Open source community needs a haircut and to dress for success

Summary: Former Massachusetts Chief Information Officer Peter Quinn, who was deeply involved of the OpenDocument vs. Microsoft format debate, has some advice for the open source community.

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TOPICS: Open Source
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opensourceshoes.jpgFormer Massachusetts Chief Information Officer Peter Quinn, who was deeply involved of the OpenDocument vs. Microsoft format debate, has some advice for the open source community. If you want to get traction in commercial environments, lose the sandals and ponytails, Quinn said.  

"Open source has an unprofessional appearance, and the community needs to be more business-savvy in order to start to make inroads in areas traditionally dominated by commercial software vendors. (Having) a face on a project or agenda makes it attractive for politicians (to consider open source)," Quinn said speaking at LinuxWorld Australia.  The "sandal and ponytail set," Quinn said, contribute to the slow uptake of Linux in government and business, according to the story by ZDNet Australia reporters Matthew Overington and  Steven Deare.

Speaking about the OpenDoc situation, Quinn said: "When you think about the lobbying power and the cash that's available for opponents of open source and opponents of OpenDocument, there is a significant amount of money and resource that people can and will bring to bear." 

He concluded with a verbal barrage at IT departments: "I blame the IT community, I blame the IT leadership, over and over and over again, about their inability to articulate correctly the business opportunity that we've got here. [I blame them] for not understanding what it is that they do, for spending too much time talking and thinking in technology terms, and not thinking in terms of business."

Speaking of ponytails, does Quinn include Sun President, COO and open source evangelist Jonathan Schwartz as in need of a haircut to be viewed as credible?

quinnschwarz.jpg

Open source, OpenDoc allies: Peter Quinn and Jonathan Schwartz

How about Richard Stallman,  founder of the free software movement?

stallman3.jpg

Photo: Wikipedia

It's not about the ponytails and sandals. Open source has already made huge inroads into business and government. It's no longer a fringe movement, but a mainstream activity. Don't confuse programmers working behind the scenes in sandals and T-shirts with the suits selling hybrid open source/closed source software and services into the every corner of the planet. A relentless lobbyist with a ponytail can be just as effective as a programmer with a buzz cut.

Topic: Open Source

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  • Looks

    Some might say "Looks count for a lot".

    I am not stomping on dress codes, but, looks are VERY misleading and I don't get to hung up on that type of thing anymore--too old to know better!
    D T Schmitz
    • Looks

      However when trying to sell to executives you can't show up like you just came from a skateboard competition either.
      Kimbok9
      • It's about respect

        Showing up in sandals an grungy jeans and sporting a beard that looks like it can grow things in it can be tremendously disrespectful.

        You dress for your audience because it shows you respect your audience.

        The dress issue among open source advocates is symptomatic of a deeper problem: Arrogance and elitism. A lot of open source advocates are of the same moronic mentality as the hippie generation, thinking it's cool and cutting edge to disrespect "the establishment" when in reality it's just childish and sophomoric and comes across as such to true adults.
        baggins_z
        • I think the both of you overlooked...

          the last paragraph of Dan's article:

          <i>It's not about the ponytails and sandals. Open source has already made huge inroads into business and government. It's no longer a fringe movement, but a mainstream activity. <b>Don't confuse programmers working behind the scenes in sandals and T-shirts with the suits selling hybrid open source/closed source software and services into the every corner of the planet</b>. A relentless lobbyist with a ponytail can be just as effective as a programmer with a buzz cut.</i>
          Tony Agudo
          • perspective

            Huge inroads in servers does not equal huge inroads in business and government.

            Another problem open source advocates suffer from: myopia.
            baggins_z
          • Agreed

            Yes of course.

            Dressing appropriately does show respect for a specific business interface setting.

            But it doesn't hide one's personality or intellectual capacity.

            I do find it 'curious' that it warrants even mentioning though.

            Does anybody remember what Bill Gates looked like when he got into the business?

            Thanks Rafterman and carry on!
            D T Schmitz
          • It DOES hide capacity, if the audience quits listening

            "But it doesn't hide one's personality or intellectual capacity."

            It may show one's personality very well, but that may be a bad thing. A lot of the establishment won't trust someone who looks like he could just get tired of the work and say, "Screw it, it's 4:10, I'm going to go light up now, see you in a week." They look at the pony tail crowd and see the guys in the ski patrol at Aspen, or on the beach at Big Sur, seasonal workers who earn just enough to finance their next fix of heli-skiing, big wave riding, or herb. The establishment won't take that seriously

            And it does hide one's intellectual capacity; if a person looks like he has no clue how to dress for business, why should they trust him with a million dollars worth of their business? Especially if, in the sales meeting, he can't really explain to them in words they will understand, exactly what he will do, how he will save them money, or how he will support them?
            ajole
          • Ok Then Don't Hire These People!

            http://www.littlegeneva.com/images/Microsoft.jpg
            D T Schmitz
          • and we all know there are no business people with pony tails

            no one who makes any kind of money has long hair. no way no how.
            linuxoverwindows
          • Especially if, in the sales meeting"

            he can't really explain to them in words they will understand, exactly what he will do, how he will save them money, or how he will support them"

            Sales meeting folks NEVER wear sandles and sport pony tails. Only those behind the scenes. And, truth be told, MS, Apple, IBM, Adobe, et. al. Developers! are NOT sales folks and when seen, are viewed based on the intellectual property DONATED to the company doing the sales. This is a red herring article, Nuff Said.
            nomorems
          • i remember...

            http://www.linuxoverwindows.com/gates-tribute.php

            he is still a little scruffy at times. but when youre filthy stinking smelly rich, it dont matter.
            linuxoverwindows
          • I think the both of you overlooked...

            They may, or may not have overlooked the last statement. However, that does not mean the statement is true. Only a fool thinks that looks don't matter to big corporations.
            sackbut
          • of course it does

            looks matter a lot to corporations.
            And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply
            So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
            He said you look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do
            So I took off my hat I said imagine that, huh, me working for you -five man electrical band
            linuxoverwindows
          • or

            Tesla if you are younger... they did a remake
            Shelendrea
        • Translate, please?

          How is self-mutilation and expensive, unserviceable ugliness "respect"? If I am good at what I do, why should I be expected to play childish games of dress-up in order to please some 19th-century bugaboos about how "civilized men" dress? What makes people who indulge such attitudes "true adults," Mr. Underhill?
          orange_z
        • resect >:<

          (3 words) You have issues.



          The true reality of life is everyone has their own reasons for going with the system or against it. Deal!
          graphx
        • long hair is elitist?

          the same can be said for the yuppie crowd. short hair vs long hair... so jesus christ was a disrespectful hippie?
          linuxoverwindows
          • Jesus... hippie?

            Well, duh! Look at him and those friends of his. He showed NO interest in business advancement, hung around with disreputable people and questionable women, spent all his time talking about religion instead of trying to enrich himself, totally disrespected the moneychangers just being entrepeneurs in the Temple... of course he was a hippie....

            ... thank God.
            orange_z
        • It's about respect

          "The dress issue among open source advocates is symptomatic of a deeper problem: Arrogance and elitism."

          Elitism is a word that represents a word used by those who don't want to learn more. It's a symptom of myopic knowledge. Only those who have chose a single path use this word to characterize those who travel all roads, not just those thrust upon them.

          Try expanding your horizons before condeming those who embrace all (and have practical knowledge about subjects before commenting on them)!
          nomorems
        • Respect... you mean prejudice don't you.

          So to earn respect, I don't need to produce anything of value. I don't need to be polite, courteous, show respect with manners and be engaging to the customer?s needs. I just need to show up clean cut in the executive cookie cutter sort of way and sell you something. This is the true sad commentary regarding the world today. You cannot get respect being yourself; you have to be someone else. Why would that be?... It's called prejudice.

          People judge people because they are not alike. They just can?t deal with ?different? people. The can only deal with people they understand; which is limited to their culture and up bringing. This is the real problem. This is why religions fight and hate each other. This is why Europeans see Americans in a certain way and visa versa. This is why terrorists murder innocent people. This is why certain governments ?know what is best? for other countries and push them in that direction. They just don?t see people as fellow human beings. They see people as ?them?.

          Don?t get me wrong; it is good manners to dress accordingly at meetings, just as it is important to dress properly at a funeral or wedding. You need to show your best stuff under certain circumstances. But there are problems when someone speaks like all open source people are hippies?it?s call prejudice.
          Physco Dude