Thank you, MoFo.

[ music | U2 – Mofo ]

Sometimes we overlook the little things. I switched from the Mozilla Suite to Firefox shortly after 1.0 came out, and after a short time getting used to it, loved it. Now, after two patches for 1.5, it’s just better than ever. And I’m looking at folks workinghard on FF2 and even planning and implementing groundwork for FF3, I stopped to think, “these folks really are serious. It’s not just an aimless passtime like it was in the first 8 years.” And they’re doing a pretty damn good job of it too. And in all the accolades Firefox has won, the devs haven’t really taken time to pat themselves on the back, they just keep working harder. I also just read this piece from Joel Sposky, and this passage jumped out and smacked me with it’s incredibly elegance, how it took the truth and boiled it down to the essence of the point about outsourcing.

“Here’s something Pradeep Singh taught me today: if only 20% of your staff is programmers, and you can save 50% on salary by outsourcing programmers to India, well, how much of a competitive advantage are you really going to get out of that 10% savings?”

That perfectly sums up why outsourcing internal development is not a solution in and of itself. And I thought about Firefox. Here you have a core group of devs working hard on a product, and producing magic, and you have some supporting players taking care of marketing FF, and support, and keeping the lights on and bills paid, and it’s working wonderfully. It’s working so well that they are making enough money to pay the devs and staff without even charging for the product. Everyone is benefiting, too. But before that, there were devs working for years on the core code without much recognition or accolades, they just kept working. And now with all the recognition and accolades, they’re still working hard. so I thought, let’s take a minute and just say Thank You. Thanks to everyone at MoFo and MoCo, thanks for Firefox, and Thunderbird, and everything else. We appreciate it.


actually .. for a manager 10% cut of the monthly bills is quite a saving. and can provide an advantage at the market at the end.

But you have to look at the VALUE that 10% provides. You’re shipping your core assets overseas where you’ll have less control, more difficult management, you’re lowering your most important ability to a commodity status. Programming is not a commodity, it’s a skill. Ten decent hackers is not necessarily better than 5 really good ones. that ten percent savings might cost you a lot more down the road as far as profit goes.

The math is wrong here… aren’t saving 10%. The real savings can’t be determined witout more information. It’s not 50% of the 20% which equals 10%… It’s 50% savings off the salaries of the 20% of the employees outsourced….so your savings is X (the combined salaries of the employees outsourced –20% of the staff at this company) * 50% (1/2 the salary as the internal employees let go), divided by the total salaries at the company. That’s the decrease (savings) in the salaries overall.

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