Update: plans for Tribal Method have changed just a bit. See the website for details.
Just recently I sat down to share with whoever is interested what I’m up to lately and where I hope to be going. Instead, the article turned into a screed on introvert exploration. Which is okay, because it was a topic I wanted to talk about anyway, and with it now out of the way I can try the other bit again.
I’ve rambled quite a bit about my past in other places, mostly at Tabula Crypticum, so no need to dig into that deeply. But a synopsis is worthwhile still before revealing the new stuff.
At age fifteen I started in the plumbing business, a family obligation. After ten years of that torture I stumbled into a product design career, my goal at the time, starting with 7 highly educational years at Texas Instruments. When that ended I bounced around a bit in various technical ventures as US manufacturing outsourcing reduced opportunities for a maker like me. And after losing a too-short dream opportunity at Nokia I ended up in IT application support.
And that’s really not where I want to be.
I have some ideas, guys. Some small and easily rendered by myself into something real, and some so big and potentially game-changing in some way that I would need to wrap a sizeable company around them. They’ve been popping up for decades, and each job change has just opened up more possibilities to explore.
I have so many ideas that I can’t manage them all. So I’ve tried assembling teams, virtual and local, to get things going. With very little, if any, success so far.
So most of these ideas are stagnating, which is really eating at me. But one thought keeps me optimistic. It’s that I don’t need to be their ultimate owner; I just want to be their launcher.
You see, I’m not as big on monetary gain as I am on accomplishment. And I’m also a huge believer in the team approach… including team recognition over my own. Because I was insecure enough as a kid; having outgrown that long ago, I have motivators other than the need for attention. My biggest satisfaction comes from helping someone else succeed. And if it’s with the germ of an idea I had, even better! But I want the attention on the solution and the team that made it happen.
As my ideas accumulated and lingered, I realized I was seeing the same sort of thing I had seen in the Maemo and MeeGo communities: plenty of needs, plenty of people wanting to work on needs, and yet a big gap in execution. Organization was required, but these were contributors who resisted organization. After all, that leads to bureaucracies. Which lead to dead projects.
But then, so does inaction.
I’ve been thinking for some time that a solution to this dilemma would be big. And every now and then I toyed with creating one. I know many of the issues: different opinions on best practices, resource fragmentation, etc. I also know that the answers lie in solving functional disconnects, automation gaps, and similar. If people can work the way they want, without being burdened by technical obstacles and personality clashes, it’s a lot easier to get them on board a project. After all, technology is supposed to be an invisible enabler!
With those thoughts in mind, I believe I’m finally pulling a solution together. Participating in local entrepreneurial, social media and application development groups has really helped.
So yesterday I took out the domain tribalmethod.com. Because I have this idea that will help me solve the team assembly problem holding back other ideas, and very likely help you, too. It will work for open source, closed source and gradients in between. There will be opportunities for recognition, money and whatever else motivates you. I just could use help developing it.
There’s nothing at the Tribal Method domain… yet. I’m going to need to assemble a team for that. A chicken-and-egg dilemma, but hopefully I’ve piqued the interest of the right people.
Hop on board. Ask anything. This is going to be fun.