[OpenID board] pay-to-play an issue?

Scott Kveton scott at janrain.com
Thu Apr 5 16:21:21 UTC 2007

> I was reflecting on David's comments about having board membership
> having  a pay-to-play aspect.

Having just mentioned this in my last note, I'll follow-up as well.
> If the Foundation controlled the specifications, I would be very
> aligned with David on NOT having it pay to play -- but given the
> charter of protecting IP and marketing -- essentially those paying
> are those that have chosen to pool their marketing dollars, and
> coordinate their efforts -- so it makes sense for those people to
> participate in how those dollars are spent -- so it is a pay-to-
> market issue.
> With Apache, there is a clear marketing advantage to being listed
> with Apache given their history and they essentially are selling pay-
> to-market with a clear path on how marketing is done, and it is for
> exposure of the company to the Apache community. Apache does not need
> to do much marketing themselves these days -- where as OpenID does
> need to get some clear messages out there, and so a pay-to-market
> model for people to come on board makes tons of sense to me -- and
> clearly is the model some people are looking for given some
> conversations with some of the players.

This is the core issue IMHO; is the OpenID Foundation a marketing group or
an organization for managing the mechanics of the OpenID community (namely
IP, trademarks, etc)?  Or both?  In a perfect world, I'd love to have the
OpenID Foundation do lots of things, however, we've got to get some key
things done _now_.  We can always add marketing efforts later.

As for how Apache does this, I would say that they are very clear that when
you "sponsor" Apache you get nothing in return that drives direction of the
organization.  You get your name on a sponsors page and that's about it.
They are vehement about that (which I think is part of the reason for their
success) as it makes it clear to the community and everyone involved the
roll of companies with Apache.

Looking forward to more discussion on the call today,

- Scott

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