23 May, 2008

Vision X

Last week I gave a talk at the Ubuntu Release Party in Amsterdam (NL, of course). It was fun, just like last year. And again I was surprised how much broader this meeting was than 'just' free software. Free Culture was heavily represented, and there even were talks about digital freedom/privacy projects like Little Sister (Dutch, sorry). And of course we saw Big Buck Bunny, the movie by the Blender project. I can tell you - it's a piece of art. Literally, of course, but also in the sense of 'an stunning piece of work'. Pixar couldn't have done it any better, and if you consider the resources it was done with - amazing.

As usual, my talk focussed more on the vision of the KDE project than on specific details. Of course my own interest in Innovation, both social and open (somehow that sounds funny) have quite an influence on how I see this topic. On the other hand, being in this community of course gives me at least some illusion that what I say about what the project as a whole wants is founded in reality. But a check, now and then, never hurts. I've talked about vision and future before, not too many comments that time, so now I'm gonna ask explicitly for comments.

Of course - I realize we are many. As one of your T-shirts says: different people, different ideas. But it also end with: same vision. Is that true? Do we share a vision? Does something coherent emerge from the fog-of-war surrounding the development of KDE? I believe so. Yet I really wonder what people would say if one asks them: "What is the mission of KDE?" and "What is the vision of KDE?"

So, think about it for a second. What would you say? I've dug up a 'mission statement' from a mayor company to help you think ;-)

Mission:
Improve the quality of people’s lives through timely introduction of meaningful innovations.

Vision:
In a world where complexity increasingly touches every aspect of our daily lives, we will lead in bringing sense and simplicity to people.

(Philips)

Observe:
- they want MEANINGFUL innovations
- And to get there by focusing on sense and simplicity, to help people cope with increasing complexity

Now KDE. Our website states:
It is our hope and continued ambition, that KDE will bring open, reliable, stable and monopoly free computing enjoyed by scientists and computing professionals world-wide to the everyday user.


The above seems to be our mission, that's for sure. Now, how do we get there? That's where the vision comes in. How do we fulfill our mission?

Not everyone will say the same. Actually, I don't think there will be much coherency - so, do we or don't we share a vision?

I will continue this blog next time, as I'm really looking forward to your comments (and maybe even other blogs - one can dream, right?)