A few things happened and/or occurred to me this week to make me think about what my company does and how we interact and deal with other companies working in our same general space.
This came about from some Twitter and Facebook exchanges. On Twitter, I tried to explain why I thought TYPO3 was the best CMS / ECM system available, open source or proprietary. Of course, TYPO3 is enterprise quality, full of available features, scalable, able to grow as needs increase, is open source, and has a robust user and development community. I researched CMS software for months before I came to the conclusion that TYPO3 was the best and that was back in 2002 or so. I still think that and it gets better every day.
Then, I realized that I have face-to-face and Facebook friends from many other TYPO3 agencies around the world and I follow many on Twitter. In the cold world of American cut-throat capitalism, it would be assumed that I am doing this for business intelligence, to keep up with what my competitors are doing for nefarious purposes.
Of course I want to know what they are doing, but one of the best things about TYPO3 is the community that surrounds it, particularly those that support the TYPO3 Association and give a lot back to the community as a whole (this is open source and this is the key to the success of any open source project). We may be competitors, but we are friends first and willing to help each other out.
Early on (wow, it has been quite a few years now), there were three people who I met as I was getting started and a complete newbie in the CMS world, seriously clueless. These three people gave freely of their knowledge and time, and even refused payment when offered. I think we all believe in karma. These three are still good friends and I started Acqal with one of them (Michael Cannon). All are complete TYPO3 pros. In addition to Michael Cannon, there was Ries van Twisk and Dimitri Tarrasenko. I remain friends with all of them. Since then, there have been many others.
Sure we compete, but we collaborate more and continue to maintain friendships. We help each other out, refer business to each other when appropriate (we provide support services for some who are not interested in support after project delivery, for example) and we do business together when it is to our and our client’s advantage.
This is how business should be. The TYPO3 people I know are some of the best people I have ever met. What a wonderful thing to be part of such a community with such a great CMS.
Originally published March 6, 2009