[announcement] new staff member in business development

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[announcement] new staff member in business development

Florence Devouard-3
First, an announcement, then some thoughts

We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.
The positions responsabilities are:


1)  Identify and develop market strategies
2)  Generate ideas and initiatives that capitalize on existing and
prospective partner strengths
3)  Consistently build a pipeline of new, revenue generating opportunities
4)  Prepare written presentations, reports, and term sheets
5)  Assist in contract negotiations
6)  Assist with other tasks as needed(*)

(*) to be added to any staff member job description by default :-)

Vishal is already in the office, since he has been a part time intern
since january 2007. We had expected to fill in this position in the
future - not considered as urgent as the ED or legal coordinator
positions - but it became more urgent after Danny's departure.
I expect Vishal will both relieve other staff members from certain
tasks, and focus all his attention on an area which was not always
treated as a major area.

Immediate and very specific tasks he will be in charge, amongst other
tasks related to the position, are :
* report on all business deals we currently are in (who, what, when, how
much).
* analyze the price asked for certain services and implement an increase
if suitable
* coordinate sponsorship for Wikimania
* follow up on brand marketing proposal
* be the general contact person for all the various (and sometimes
really amazing) business deals proposed to the Foundation

--------

Business... is not a simple matter.


I realized recently that the message we were consistently giving to the
press was that we basically got all of our revenue from donations.

But...first of all, are we sure it is true ?
Do you know how much of our revenue comes from donations, how much comes
from grants, how much comes from services, how much come from cafepress,
how much come from pure brand business ?
I know the figures from last year, though financial statements did not
make the difference between services and brand marketing for example.
The values were very low anyway. I have some estimates of some values
for the current year. But I do not have clear precise data month by
month. And I know the data is changing very rapidly. I do not think it
is something like 99% donations, 1% the rest of the revenue.

-------

Second, regardless of how much we get from various sources, it make
sense to know which message we want to get out. Do we want our public to
hear only (or mostly) that we manage thanks to their donations ? Or do
we also want potential business partners to hear that they can also make
business with us ?
If we want the second, we must not only have a proper frame to do
business (such as a nicely working cafe press, or a good wap service),
but also make it known that we want to do so. As with an information kit
different from the press kit.

-------

Third, it makes sense to exactly know which type of business we want (or
we can) to get into.
In terms in revenue, aside from the regular donations and grants, here
is what we can get right now

* income from sales from cafe press. This revenue is partly business,
partly promotion. We do not run the cafepress exclusively to earn money,
but also because it is pretty cool to have a wikimedia mug or a
wikipedia tee-shirt.

* data services: afaik, currently, datafeed for website and a wap
service (extremely basic...). Arguably, this is pure business, or a mix
of business/distribution

* brand with content distribution deal: we do not want to directly
distribute offline versions of our content, and even less to make people
pay for that. Legally risky. But we are happy others are doing, and when
they run a business on this, we make a deal for brand use. Example,
production of a DVD with Wikipedia content on it; in such case, we
collect a small fee corresponding to the use of the logo on the DVD
jacket. In such case, it is not only a business deal. It is business,
but it is also part of our mission as it allows content to further
disseminate.

* pure brand deals: very few were done till now; That might be typically
the Cisco deal, where a video used our logo and some money was
collected. At a much larger scale, we could envision larger impact, with
toys, computer equipment, etc... this is just to get money.

* I mention advertisement. It is pure business. We do not do it, but it
is mentionned regularly, and I think that for the sake of it, we should
consider one day having a study done to see how much it would bring in,
and how much negative impact it would have (not only on community mood,
  but also probably in donations decrease).

* on-site services, to improve the user experience. We might imagine a
system of print-on-demand on the website itself, with a fee per
printed/shipped book. Right now, there are few, if not no services of
this type.

* arguably, I will mention here sponsorship. Because sponsorship is
largely an exchange of money with promotion of a third party.

I expect there are other ways to make business and to collect some cash.
Which ones would you suggest ?

Each of these systems has advantage and drawbacks. I above mentionned
the advertisement system, but there are others which might be
controversial. For example, if we have wikipedia logo printed on a game
of trivial pursuit, will you be happy, or not ? If Microsoft is
Wikimania sponsor, will you be happy, or not ?

Community can very largely provide input here.

-------

fourth, legal frame.
Are they deals we can not make practically or reasonably ? Or deals we
simply should not go into ? Or deals we should not get into above a
certain figure of income for tax reasons ?
If we sell the right to use the brand, can we defend it is a brand and
it is ours at the place where we want to make the deal ? (ie, were the
tms secured ? )
All questions difficult right now with no legal counsel though.

-------

Fifth, much mentionned in the past few days. Brand precisely. Public
perception of a brand. Whether to unify our brand or not. Whether to try
to go toward a more unified appearance accross all websites, or not.
Of course, we can get counselling from professionals on this, but
community input will be unvaluable.

-------

The revenue we right now get from business is largely inferior to what
we could get, and I expect it will grow much larger in the coming year.
But before it really become so, we have significant challenges in front
  of us. I hope that Vishal will become an important piece of that
challenge and invite him to involve the community to deal with all this.

Ant


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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Casey Brown-2
Congrats to Vishal Pattel!  I know the staff will make him feel welcome. :)

Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Florence
Devouard
Sent: Thursday, May 17, 2007 8:16 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: [Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in
businessdevelopment

First, an announcement, then some thoughts

We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.
The positions responsabilities are:


1)  Identify and develop market strategies
2)  Generate ideas and initiatives that capitalize on existing and
prospective partner strengths
3)  Consistently build a pipeline of new, revenue generating opportunities
4)  Prepare written presentations, reports, and term sheets
5)  Assist in contract negotiations
6)  Assist with other tasks as needed(*)

(*) to be added to any staff member job description by default :-)

Vishal is already in the office, since he has been a part time intern
since january 2007. We had expected to fill in this position in the
future - not considered as urgent as the ED or legal coordinator
positions - but it became more urgent after Danny's departure.
I expect Vishal will both relieve other staff members from certain
tasks, and focus all his attention on an area which was not always
treated as a major area.

Immediate and very specific tasks he will be in charge, amongst other
tasks related to the position, are :
* report on all business deals we currently are in (who, what, when, how
much).
* analyze the price asked for certain services and implement an increase
if suitable
* coordinate sponsorship for Wikimania
* follow up on brand marketing proposal
* be the general contact person for all the various (and sometimes
really amazing) business deals proposed to the Foundation

--------

Business... is not a simple matter.


I realized recently that the message we were consistently giving to the
press was that we basically got all of our revenue from donations.

But...first of all, are we sure it is true ?
Do you know how much of our revenue comes from donations, how much comes
from grants, how much comes from services, how much come from cafepress,
how much come from pure brand business ?
I know the figures from last year, though financial statements did not
make the difference between services and brand marketing for example.
The values were very low anyway. I have some estimates of some values
for the current year. But I do not have clear precise data month by
month. And I know the data is changing very rapidly. I do not think it
is something like 99% donations, 1% the rest of the revenue.

-------

Second, regardless of how much we get from various sources, it make
sense to know which message we want to get out. Do we want our public to
hear only (or mostly) that we manage thanks to their donations ? Or do
we also want potential business partners to hear that they can also make
business with us ?
If we want the second, we must not only have a proper frame to do
business (such as a nicely working cafe press, or a good wap service),
but also make it known that we want to do so. As with an information kit
different from the press kit.

-------

Third, it makes sense to exactly know which type of business we want (or
we can) to get into.
In terms in revenue, aside from the regular donations and grants, here
is what we can get right now

* income from sales from cafe press. This revenue is partly business,
partly promotion. We do not run the cafepress exclusively to earn money,
but also because it is pretty cool to have a wikimedia mug or a
wikipedia tee-shirt.

* data services: afaik, currently, datafeed for website and a wap
service (extremely basic...). Arguably, this is pure business, or a mix
of business/distribution

* brand with content distribution deal: we do not want to directly
distribute offline versions of our content, and even less to make people
pay for that. Legally risky. But we are happy others are doing, and when
they run a business on this, we make a deal for brand use. Example,
production of a DVD with Wikipedia content on it; in such case, we
collect a small fee corresponding to the use of the logo on the DVD
jacket. In such case, it is not only a business deal. It is business,
but it is also part of our mission as it allows content to further
disseminate.

* pure brand deals: very few were done till now; That might be typically
the Cisco deal, where a video used our logo and some money was
collected. At a much larger scale, we could envision larger impact, with
toys, computer equipment, etc... this is just to get money.

* I mention advertisement. It is pure business. We do not do it, but it
is mentionned regularly, and I think that for the sake of it, we should
consider one day having a study done to see how much it would bring in,
and how much negative impact it would have (not only on community mood,
  but also probably in donations decrease).

* on-site services, to improve the user experience. We might imagine a
system of print-on-demand on the website itself, with a fee per
printed/shipped book. Right now, there are few, if not no services of
this type.

* arguably, I will mention here sponsorship. Because sponsorship is
largely an exchange of money with promotion of a third party.

I expect there are other ways to make business and to collect some cash.
Which ones would you suggest ?

Each of these systems has advantage and drawbacks. I above mentionned
the advertisement system, but there are others which might be
controversial. For example, if we have wikipedia logo printed on a game
of trivial pursuit, will you be happy, or not ? If Microsoft is
Wikimania sponsor, will you be happy, or not ?

Community can very largely provide input here.

-------

fourth, legal frame.
Are they deals we can not make practically or reasonably ? Or deals we
simply should not go into ? Or deals we should not get into above a
certain figure of income for tax reasons ?
If we sell the right to use the brand, can we defend it is a brand and
it is ours at the place where we want to make the deal ? (ie, were the
tms secured ? )
All questions difficult right now with no legal counsel though.

-------

Fifth, much mentionned in the past few days. Brand precisely. Public
perception of a brand. Whether to unify our brand or not. Whether to try
to go toward a more unified appearance accross all websites, or not.
Of course, we can get counselling from professionals on this, but
community input will be unvaluable.

-------

The revenue we right now get from business is largely inferior to what
we could get, and I expect it will grow much larger in the coming year.
But before it really become so, we have significant challenges in front
  of us. I hope that Vishal will become an important piece of that
challenge and invite him to involve the community to deal with all this.

Ant


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[hidden email]
http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l


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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

A. Özgür Erdemli
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Important position, and very necessary.

Rock on Vishal.

Özgür

On 5/17/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
> First, an announcement, then some thoughts
>
> We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.
> The positions responsabilities are:
>
>
> 1)  Identify and develop market strategies
> 2)  Generate ideas and initiatives that capitalize on existing and
> prospective partner strengths
> 3)  Consistently build a pipeline of new, revenue generating opportunities
> 4)  Prepare written presentations, reports, and term sheets
> 5)  Assist in contract negotiations
> 6)  Assist with other tasks as needed(*)
>
> (*) to be added to any staff member job description by default :-)
>
> Vishal is already in the office, since he has been a part time intern
> since january 2007. We had expected to fill in this position in the
> future - not considered as urgent as the ED or legal coordinator
> positions - but it became more urgent after Danny's departure.
> I expect Vishal will both relieve other staff members from certain
> tasks, and focus all his attention on an area which was not always
> treated as a major area.
>
> Immediate and very specific tasks he will be in charge, amongst other
> tasks related to the position, are :
> * report on all business deals we currently are in (who, what, when, how
> much).
> * analyze the price asked for certain services and implement an increase
> if suitable
> * coordinate sponsorship for Wikimania
> * follow up on brand marketing proposal
> * be the general contact person for all the various (and sometimes
> really amazing) business deals proposed to the Foundation
>
> --------
>
> Business... is not a simple matter.
>
>
> I realized recently that the message we were consistently giving to the
> press was that we basically got all of our revenue from donations.
>
> But...first of all, are we sure it is true ?
> Do you know how much of our revenue comes from donations, how much comes
> from grants, how much comes from services, how much come from cafepress,
> how much come from pure brand business ?
> I know the figures from last year, though financial statements did not
> make the difference between services and brand marketing for example.
> The values were very low anyway. I have some estimates of some values
> for the current year. But I do not have clear precise data month by
> month. And I know the data is changing very rapidly. I do not think it
> is something like 99% donations, 1% the rest of the revenue.
>
> -------
>
> Second, regardless of how much we get from various sources, it make
> sense to know which message we want to get out. Do we want our public to
> hear only (or mostly) that we manage thanks to their donations ? Or do
> we also want potential business partners to hear that they can also make
> business with us ?
> If we want the second, we must not only have a proper frame to do
> business (such as a nicely working cafe press, or a good wap service),
> but also make it known that we want to do so. As with an information kit
> different from the press kit.
>
> -------
>
> Third, it makes sense to exactly know which type of business we want (or
> we can) to get into.
> In terms in revenue, aside from the regular donations and grants, here
> is what we can get right now
>
> * income from sales from cafe press. This revenue is partly business,
> partly promotion. We do not run the cafepress exclusively to earn money,
> but also because it is pretty cool to have a wikimedia mug or a
> wikipedia tee-shirt.
>
> * data services: afaik, currently, datafeed for website and a wap
> service (extremely basic...). Arguably, this is pure business, or a mix
> of business/distribution
>
> * brand with content distribution deal: we do not want to directly
> distribute offline versions of our content, and even less to make people
> pay for that. Legally risky. But we are happy others are doing, and when
> they run a business on this, we make a deal for brand use. Example,
> production of a DVD with Wikipedia content on it; in such case, we
> collect a small fee corresponding to the use of the logo on the DVD
> jacket. In such case, it is not only a business deal. It is business,
> but it is also part of our mission as it allows content to further
> disseminate.
>
> * pure brand deals: very few were done till now; That might be typically
> the Cisco deal, where a video used our logo and some money was
> collected. At a much larger scale, we could envision larger impact, with
> toys, computer equipment, etc... this is just to get money.
>
> * I mention advertisement. It is pure business. We do not do it, but it
> is mentionned regularly, and I think that for the sake of it, we should
> consider one day having a study done to see how much it would bring in,
> and how much negative impact it would have (not only on community mood,
>   but also probably in donations decrease).
>
> * on-site services, to improve the user experience. We might imagine a
> system of print-on-demand on the website itself, with a fee per
> printed/shipped book. Right now, there are few, if not no services of
> this type.
>
> * arguably, I will mention here sponsorship. Because sponsorship is
> largely an exchange of money with promotion of a third party.
>
> I expect there are other ways to make business and to collect some cash.
> Which ones would you suggest ?
>
> Each of these systems has advantage and drawbacks. I above mentionned
> the advertisement system, but there are others which might be
> controversial. For example, if we have wikipedia logo printed on a game
> of trivial pursuit, will you be happy, or not ? If Microsoft is
> Wikimania sponsor, will you be happy, or not ?
>
> Community can very largely provide input here.
>
> -------
>
> fourth, legal frame.
> Are they deals we can not make practically or reasonably ? Or deals we
> simply should not go into ? Or deals we should not get into above a
> certain figure of income for tax reasons ?
> If we sell the right to use the brand, can we defend it is a brand and
> it is ours at the place where we want to make the deal ? (ie, were the
> tms secured ? )
> All questions difficult right now with no legal counsel though.
>
> -------
>
> Fifth, much mentionned in the past few days. Brand precisely. Public
> perception of a brand. Whether to unify our brand or not. Whether to try
> to go toward a more unified appearance accross all websites, or not.
> Of course, we can get counselling from professionals on this, but
> community input will be unvaluable.
>
> -------
>
> The revenue we right now get from business is largely inferior to what
> we could get, and I expect it will grow much larger in the coming year.
> But before it really become so, we have significant challenges in front
>   of us. I hope that Vishal will become an important piece of that
> challenge and invite him to involve the community to deal with all this.
>
> Ant
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>
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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

metasj
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3

On Fri, 18 May 2007, Florence Devouard wrote:

> We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.

Nice.  <communal welcome to Vishal>


> I realized recently that the message we were consistently giving to the
> press was that we basically got all of our revenue from donations.
>
> But...first of all, are we sure it is true ?

I don't know what "sure" means, since the public Foundation records aren't
as transparent as they could be.  Does anyone know for sure what the
breakdown is?

I will say this: I would bet you a good French dinner every night for a
week* that Wikimedia+Wikipedia could raise its entire budget for the next
year, if the budget reasons were clear, through donations alone, simply by
asking its community for support.


> Second, regardless of how much we get from various sources, it make
> sense to know which message we want to get out. Do we want our public to
> hear only (or mostly) that we manage thanks to their donations ? Or do
> we also want potential business partners to hear that they can also make
> business with us ?

These do not exhaust the options.  Do we want the public to hear that
their favorite site is sustainable on the good will and voluntary
donations of its avid readers?  That sends a very powerful message that
"supported by your favorite companies and brand-conscious advertisers"
does not -- not just a message about *Wikipedia* but a message about
our collective global community that is building this tremendous body of
knowledge.  It drives home strongly the fact that the most invaluable
contributions to Wikipedia, millions of hours of editing time and vast
subject expertise, are by definition donations from the community,


> If we want the second, we must not only have a proper frame to do
> business (such as a nicely working cafe press, or a good wap service),

There is no reason why we can't say "we manage thanks to public donations.
We are also supported in part by these organizations (not because we need
their support to survive, but because they like individual contributors
think the projects are worth supporting)."

> -------
> * I mention advertisement. It is pure business. We do not do it, but it
> is mentionned regularly, and I think that for the sake of it, we should
> consider one day having a study done to see how much it would bring in,
> and how much negative impact it would have (not only on community mood,
> but also probably in donations decrease).

A pity to put it this way.  If there is a need for more funds, please ask
the community for them.  Until there is a specific need for funds beyond
what the community regularly provides, why should one evaluate "how much
[advertising] would bring in"?  To encourage debates about whether ads
are good or bad?  Better to spend that community energy debating what
the budget should include and how to focus collective priorities...


> * arguably, I will mention here sponsorship. Because sponsorship is
> largely an exchange of money with promotion of a third party.

How about sponsorship by a hardware provider or ISP, to do away with 80%
of the budget in one swift move?  That would be a sponsorship worth
having, and a real in-kind service provided.


> I expect there are other ways to make business and to collect some cash.
> Which ones would you suggest ?

Is this what our primary focus should be?  I would feel better about this
if there were specific plans for specific sorts of improvement, such as
network development, outreach, language diversification, systemic bias
reduction, or infrastructure to reduce recurring maintenance costs.

> -------
> Fifth, much mentionned in the past few days. Brand precisely. Public
> perception of a brand. Whether to unify our brand or not. Whether to try
> to go toward a more unified appearance accross all websites, or not.
> Of course, we can get counselling from professionals on this, but
> community input will be unvaluable.

To me, the focus should be on clarifying project goals and purpose and
definition -- "brand" -- internally within the community before worrying
about how they appear to the rest of the world.  Numerous exciting
potential projects have foundered in part on a confusion as to what the
different goals and cross-purposes of different projects is/should be.

SJ

* I know, this isn't a fair bet, since you may have this already; or may
not want seven straight nights of same.  Suggest another?

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Gerard Meijssen-3
Hoi,
Congratulations, Vishal you have a job that needs doing.. I hope for all our
sakes you will do a great job.

In his reply Samuel indicates that it is not clear what our needs are and,
what we would do with money generated. Let me remind him that at the last
fund raiser we were looking for 1,5 million dollars, we got just over 1
million of that. A substantial part of it was acquired because of corporate
donations. We are underfunded and understaffed as it is.

Relevant is that the Virgin deal was seen as problematic by some. In equal
measure this attitude is problematic because it prevents the funding of our
projects in the way they were budgetted in the future.

Now you want to sound confident by making a bet. Consider that you may eat
French dinners, but you are offering it to an organisation used to eating
spagetti only.

Thanks,
     Gerard

On 5/18/07, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
> On Fri, 18 May 2007, Florence Devouard wrote:
>
> > We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.
>
> Nice.  <communal welcome to Vishal>
>
>
> > I realized recently that the message we were consistently giving to the
> > press was that we basically got all of our revenue from donations.
> >
> > But...first of all, are we sure it is true ?
>
> I don't know what "sure" means, since the public Foundation records aren't
> as transparent as they could be.  Does anyone know for sure what the
> breakdown is?
>
> I will say this: I would bet you a good French dinner every night for a
> week* that Wikimedia+Wikipedia could raise its entire budget for the next
> year, if the budget reasons were clear, through donations alone, simply by
> asking its community for support.
>
>
> > Second, regardless of how much we get from various sources, it make
> > sense to know which message we want to get out. Do we want our public to
> > hear only (or mostly) that we manage thanks to their donations ? Or do
> > we also want potential business partners to hear that they can also make
> > business with us ?
>
> These do not exhaust the options.  Do we want the public to hear that
> their favorite site is sustainable on the good will and voluntary
> donations of its avid readers?  That sends a very powerful message that
> "supported by your favorite companies and brand-conscious advertisers"
> does not -- not just a message about *Wikipedia* but a message about
> our collective global community that is building this tremendous body of
> knowledge.  It drives home strongly the fact that the most invaluable
> contributions to Wikipedia, millions of hours of editing time and vast
> subject expertise, are by definition donations from the community,
>
>
> > If we want the second, we must not only have a proper frame to do
> > business (such as a nicely working cafe press, or a good wap service),
>
> There is no reason why we can't say "we manage thanks to public donations.
> We are also supported in part by these organizations (not because we need
> their support to survive, but because they like individual contributors
> think the projects are worth supporting)."
>
> > -------
> > * I mention advertisement. It is pure business. We do not do it, but it
> > is mentionned regularly, and I think that for the sake of it, we should
> > consider one day having a study done to see how much it would bring in,
> > and how much negative impact it would have (not only on community mood,
> > but also probably in donations decrease).
>
> A pity to put it this way.  If there is a need for more funds, please ask
> the community for them.  Until there is a specific need for funds beyond
> what the community regularly provides, why should one evaluate "how much
> [advertising] would bring in"?  To encourage debates about whether ads
> are good or bad?  Better to spend that community energy debating what
> the budget should include and how to focus collective priorities...
>
>
> > * arguably, I will mention here sponsorship. Because sponsorship is
> > largely an exchange of money with promotion of a third party.
>
> How about sponsorship by a hardware provider or ISP, to do away with 80%
> of the budget in one swift move?  That would be a sponsorship worth
> having, and a real in-kind service provided.
>
>
> > I expect there are other ways to make business and to collect some cash.
> > Which ones would you suggest ?
>
> Is this what our primary focus should be?  I would feel better about this
> if there were specific plans for specific sorts of improvement, such as
> network development, outreach, language diversification, systemic bias
> reduction, or infrastructure to reduce recurring maintenance costs.
>
> > -------
> > Fifth, much mentionned in the past few days. Brand precisely. Public
> > perception of a brand. Whether to unify our brand or not. Whether to try
> > to go toward a more unified appearance accross all websites, or not.
> > Of course, we can get counselling from professionals on this, but
> > community input will be unvaluable.
>
> To me, the focus should be on clarifying project goals and purpose and
> definition -- "brand" -- internally within the community before worrying
> about how they appear to the rest of the world.  Numerous exciting
> potential projects have foundered in part on a confusion as to what the
> different goals and cross-purposes of different projects is/should be.
>
> SJ
>
> * I know, this isn't a fair bet, since you may have this already; or may
> not want seven straight nights of same.  Suggest another?
>
> _______________________________________________
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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Guillaume Paumier
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
Hello,

On 5/18/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> First, an announcement, then some thoughts
>
> We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.


Welcome aboard, Vishal! As GerardM said, you've got a lot on your plate :)

Could someone from the office please review
http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Business_Developer so as to launch
translation in other languages?

--
Guillaume Paumier
[[m:User:guillom]]
"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have
imagined." Henry David Thoreau
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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

geni
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 5/18/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> * income from sales from cafe press. This revenue is partly business,
> partly promotion. We do not run the cafepress exclusively to earn money,
> but also because it is pretty cool to have a wikimedia mug or a
> wikipedia tee-shirt.

"Cool" maybe but not from cafe press.

--
geni

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Gerard Meijssen-3
GerardM wrote:

> Hoi,
> Congratulations, Vishal you have a job that needs doing.. I hope for all our
> sakes you will do a great job.
>
> In his reply Samuel indicates that it is not clear what our needs are and,
> what we would do with money generated. Let me remind him that at the last
> fund raiser we were looking for 1,5 million dollars, we got just over 1
> million of that. A substantial part of it was acquired because of corporate
> donations. We are underfunded and understaffed as it is.
>
> Relevant is that the Virgin deal was seen as problematic by some. In equal
> measure this attitude is problematic because it prevents the funding of our
> projects in the way they were budgetted in the future.
>
> Now you want to sound confident by making a bet. Consider that you may eat
> French dinners, but you are offering it to an organisation used to eating
> spagetti only.

Sam and Gerard, please do remember that ... French dinners are expensive
in most of the world... but not in France :-)

ant


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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

metasj

On Fri, 18 May 2007, Florence Devouard wrote:

> GerardM wrote:
>>
>> In his reply Samuel indicates that it is not clear what our needs are and,
>> what we would do with money generated. Let me remind him that at the last
>> fund raiser we were looking for 1,5 million dollars, we got just over 1
>> million of that. A substantial part of it was acquired because of corporate
>> donations. We are underfunded and understaffed as it is.

We fundraise less often than we used to, and with less clear urgency.
Perhaps there is a relationship... I'm inclined to think so.


>> Relevant is that the Virgin deal was seen as problematic by some. In equal
>> measure this attitude is problematic because it prevents the funding of our
>> projects in the way they were budgetted in the future.

Let's talk about budgeting for the future, instead of fundraising.
There's a productive thread...


>> Now you want to sound confident by making a bet. Consider that you may eat
>> French dinners, but you are offering it to an organisation used to eating
>> spagetti only.

I was trying to quantify my "sureness" since Ant asked if we were sure. :)
I have eaten French dinners, most memoarbly in Avignon, though it has been
a very long time.  And I was betting on one thing...

> Sam and Gerard, please do remember that ... French dinners are expensive
> in most of the world... but not in France :-)
>
> ant

Indeed (-:  See my original footnote.

SJ

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Cary Bass-3
Samuel Klein wrote:
>
>
> Let's talk about budgeting for the future, instead of fundraising.
> There's a productive thread...
>
>  
Maybe it's time to call for an official Finance Committee.

Cary Bass
- bastique


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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 5/17/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> First, an announcement, then some thoughts
>
> We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.

This is horrible.  The foundation is having enough trouble trying to
run a charity, and now you're trying to run a business on top of that?
 The chair of the board doesn't even have a good idea where the
revenue is coming from, save an old yearly financial statement which
admittedly didn't provide enough details?

This is getting pathetic.

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Andrew Gray
In reply to this post by metasj
On 18/05/07, Samuel Klein <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Until there is a specific need for funds beyond
> what the community regularly provides, why should one evaluate "how much
> [advertising] would bring in"?  To encourage debates about whether ads
> are good or bad?  Better to spend that community energy debating what
> the budget should include and how to focus collective priorities...

The cynic in me says that a well-written report saying (and proving)
that advertising would bring in a pittance and drive donations and
goodwill through the ground would be a godsend in silencing any future
debates ;-)

--
- Andrew Gray
  [hidden email]

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Michael Bimmler
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5/17/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > First, an announcement, then some thoughts
> >
> > We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.
>
> This is horrible.  The foundation is having enough trouble trying to
> run a charity, and now you're trying to run a business on top of that?
>  The chair of the board doesn't even have a good idea where the
> revenue is coming from, save an old yearly financial statement which
> admittedly didn't provide enough details?
>
> This is getting pathetic.
>
Please try to remain calm, okay? We don't need yet another flame war here.


Michael
> Anthony
>
> _______________________________________________
> foundation-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> http://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/foundation-l
>

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Florence Devouard-3
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
Anthony wrote:

> On 5/17/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> First, an announcement, then some thoughts
>>
>> We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.
>
> This is horrible.  The foundation is having enough trouble trying to
> run a charity, and now you're trying to run a business on top of that?
>  The chair of the board doesn't even have a good idea where the
> revenue is coming from, save an old yearly financial statement which
> admittedly didn't provide enough details?
>
> This is getting pathetic.
>
> Anthony

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.

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.

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.


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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Casey Brown-2
Anthony, I think you have over-stepped "innocent" questioning and comments
for one day.  Please step away from the computer for a little bit.

Cbrown1023

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Florence
Devouard
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 6:36 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in
businessdevelopment

Anthony wrote:

> On 5/17/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> First, an announcement, then some thoughts
>>
>> We just hired Vishal Pattel as part-time business developer.
>
> This is horrible.  The foundation is having enough trouble trying to
> run a charity, and now you're trying to run a business on top of that?
>  The chair of the board doesn't even have a good idea where the
> revenue is coming from, save an old yearly financial statement which
> admittedly didn't provide enough details?
>
> This is getting pathetic.
>
> Anthony

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.

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.

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.


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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by Florence Devouard-3
On 5/18/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> 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*
pathetic.

> 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.

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Casey Brown-2
1. Any entity that receives as much money as we do and has as much as we do,
can be considered a business and be entitled to the same necessities as such
an entity requires.

2. The only position we are looking to fill is that of Executive Director.
Chief executive officer is a deprecated position name.  That position is
filled by the head of the Wikimedia Foundation head, the nice lady you have
been degrading in this thread.  The closest equivalent, the Chief Operating
Officer position is and has been filled by Carolyn for 5 months.

Casey Brown

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of Anthony
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 9:07 PM
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in
businessdevelopment

On 5/18/07, Florence Devouard <[hidden email]> 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*
pathetic.

> 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.

Anthony

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

George William Herbert
In reply to this post by Anthony DiPierro
On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 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.

This is insane and irresponsible; any organization with this much
activity and financial throughput not run as a business (in terms of
professionalism), specifically INCLUDING real charities, is insane.

The charities and nonprofits I know of all enthusiastically hire
professional business people to do business stuff... because it's how
you get things done at that level.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in businessdevelopment

Casey Brown-2
Exactly.

Casey Brown
Cbrown1023

-----Original Message-----
From: [hidden email]
[mailto:[hidden email]] On Behalf Of George
Herbert
Sent: Friday, May 18, 2007 9:21 PM
To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] [announcement] new staff member in
businessdevelopment

On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> 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.

This is insane and irresponsible; any organization with this much
activity and financial throughput not run as a business (in terms of
professionalism), specifically INCLUDING real charities, is insane.

The charities and nonprofits I know of all enthusiastically hire
professional business people to do business stuff... because it's how
you get things done at that level.


--
-george william herbert
[hidden email]

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Re: [announcement] new staff member in business development

Anthony DiPierro
In reply to this post by George William Herbert
On 5/18/07, George Herbert <[hidden email]> wrote:

> On 5/18/07, Anthony <[hidden email]> wrote:
> > 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.
>
> This is insane and irresponsible; any organization with this much
> activity and financial throughput not run as a business (in terms of
> professionalism), specifically INCLUDING real charities, is insane.
>
> The charities and nonprofits I know of all enthusiastically hire
> professional business people to do business stuff... because it's how
> you get things done at that level.
>
This is really a matter of terminology, which I'm not interested in
getting into.  However, the job description of the business developer
makes it clear that this position goes beyond the necessities of
running a charity.

Obviously the WMF needs to be responsible and professional.  Obviously
they need to hire experienced professionals to do things which can
casually be referred to as "business stuff" (collecting donations,
applying for grants, producing financial statements, writing to
donors, reviewing contracts, etc.)  If the announcement was the hire
of a new grants coordinator, or a controller, or a new legal
coordinator, my reaction would have been completely different.  I'm
not objecting to the job title, I'm objecting to the job description.

Anthony

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