What to Do With 20 Million Dollars

Dear Andy, Life can be tough for a man in your position. Now that you’ve got [http://press.teleinteractive.net/oss/2006/08/04/enterprisedb_closes_20_million_financing all that money], you have to figure out away to spend it all. Sure you’ve got a company to run, and lord knows between Bruce’s dinner tab and the various bar tabs from Toronto, that’s probably a few million right there… but it’s not enough. Andy, I feel your pain… you’re a regular [http://imdb.com/title/tt0088850/ Montgomery Brewster]. Now of course you could always hire more developers, but really isn’t that kind of old hat by now? Instead, let me toss some ideas your way on how you can relieve yourself of such a burden… hope this helps [[image /xzilla/templates/default/img/emoticons/smile.png alt=”:-)” style=”display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;” class=”emoticon” /]] * Sponsor a PostgreSQL Winter of Code program :: there we’re two or three proposals from the google summer of code that we really wanted but either didn’t have slots for or didn’t have a student for. From my point of view the program has been a big success though, so why not invite those students, and students whose summer is the upcoming months ahead, to join in for a postgresql specific coding stipends? * Hire someone to do case studies, both for edb and postgresql :: I think we’ve gotten to the point where there a enough companies that actually want to talk about using postgresql that you could actually dedicate someone to that task. I suspect EDB isn’t that far away from that either (certainly I’d like to see more on what sony is doing). Right now we eek one out every few months, but we end up using programmers to do them, which is generally not the best use of thier time or skills. Getting someone who actually has some experience in this department would be a big bonus. * A dedicated resource for postgresql web development :: Did you know the postgresql.org website is one of the [http://toolbar.netcraft.com/site_report?url=http://www.postgresql.org top 5000 websites] on the web? Really that’s not bad considering that it’s run by 5 guys in thier spare time. Not even thier spare time, there time that’s left over after they spend thier time on all the other projects they do outside of thier work. So really, handling more traffic than sites like kraftfoods.com or adaptec.com, that’s pretty good. But we could do more if you wanted to fund website development. Finishing off techdocs migration, getting gborg/pgfoundry squared away, those bunches of content updates we haven’t gotten to… there’s enough work here for a full time guy. * Look into training/certifying oracle dba’s on postgresql/edb :: Since you hit the sweet spot between Oracle and PostgreSQL, who better to lead a charge on persuading Oracle DBA’s to bring thier skills over to PostgreSQL. The upside for them is that they get to add an additional database to thier skillset, and they get to do it for very little effort; postgresql gives you the performance and flexibility you expect as an oracle dba without all the additional overhead that you have to deal with on an oracle system. This helps PostgreSQL by helping to fill a gap in the available dba’s out there, and I suspect would also help provide better feedback loops for enterprise database use. And hey, having more people familiar with Oracle and PostgreSQL is certainly good for you guys too. * Pick up where Pervasive left off :: I’m not sure how critical this one is, but I know back in 2005 they were doing some work on the odbc driver, which I’m sure could still use some additional resources. They also have a bunch of material they’re planning on giving to the community (articles and other such info) that hopefully someone is taking care of… you could make sure it gets taken care of. * Hire someone to translate/clean up all the code coming from JPUG and other Japanese companies :: While it sounds like an old joke, it’s true postgres really is big in japan [[image /xzilla/templates/default/img/emoticons/smile.png alt=”:-)” style=”display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;” class=”emoticon” /]] Unfortunately we have a language gap between Japan and the rest of the pg community that I think hurts some of the projects going on over there. If someone had written up a good how-to on pgpool when it first came out, I think it would have seen much wider adoption much, much quicker, and probably gained additional developers too. Finding technical people fluent in japanese and english probably isn’t easy, but that just makes it all the more important. * Port Oracle apps to EDB/PostgreSQL :: Outside of [http://openacs.org/about/history OpenACS], I can’t actually think of many apps that started on Oracle that became open source compatible, but there must be some more out thier that sure would be nice if they ran on either enteprisedb or postgresql. Heck just putting a list together of applications that “certified” to be EnterpriseDB compatible would be a big boost to those skeptical of how well EnterpriseDB integrateswith Oracle. And if you can’t find any Oracle apps worth bothering with, there’s a couple of MySQL ones we still need to work on [[image /xzilla/templates/default/img/emoticons/wink.png alt=”;-)” style=”display: inline; vertical-align: bottom;” class=”emoticon” /]] * Build some bridges to developer communities :: I noticed a trend from the commercial db players (oracle, ibm, and mysql at least) to put together developer “kits” on how to get started with a given programming language with thier database. I’ve been putting something like this together in my spare time, but since I don’t have any spare time, I toss this one out as one you could pick up. Databases are a platform, and making it easier for developers to integrate on your platform is just good thinking. OK. There you go. A half dozen or so items to kick around. None of them outside the scope of what a small team of developers could really take ownership of given some backing… and hey, ya gotta run through that money someway, why not these?