TYPO3 is still here! Now what?

The past year has been one of the greatest years for TYPO3. 14 months ago, a lot of people thought TYPO3 would be dead more sooner than later, seeing Drupal, Joomla and others taking the fast lane and leaving TYPO3 with what was pretended to be “that German legacy system”. After the successful release of 7LTS, which is in many regards a piece of CMS that is very different from previous versions, I think we owe the world to show that we are not only back for good, but capable of really making it to the top. Here is how I think this can work. Remember, this is my personal blog and I am just sharing my very personal view on things. So take it or leave it.

(Reads: 4 minutes  – for obvious reasons available in english only)

Vision

I have a simple long-term vision for TYPO3: Imagine a global community 10 times as big as it is now. Not centered in Europe, not exclusively tied to CMS but to software technology in general. A movement, in charge of Inspiring People to Share. Share information, friendship, or more broadly the good life. A role model when it comes to Open Source. A peer to peer production and open collaboration. A global group of people that naturally suck in new talent. An environment of fun. Based on humanism.

I know it sounds a bit corny, but this is what drives me. Since I joined this community, I see this vision in front of my inner eye. And this is the reason why I did not leave like so many others did when things really got stupid 2 years ago.

Stage One

I think this vision describes the potential we have as a group. And I am usually measuring achievements towards the potential that things hold within. In the past, I did not make a lot of friends by doing this because, basically, it means that when the majority of people is grateful and happy about an achievement, I need to go like “Ok, we can do better”. Great things develop out of good things when someone stands up to ask on how to do things even better.

That’s why I was happy to see that Mathes, who we have to be thankful for a lot of the cool stuff that happened in the past months, was somewhat missing the release party but started to prepare work for the upcoming days. “We are still here” feels like the beginning of something really great.

“Abusing Business to empower our cause:  The TYPO3 Inc.”

Most of you know that I am working on the TYPO Inc. project. And frankly, I struggled at first. I underestimated, as usual, almost every aspect. And while I was involved in quite some Start-Ups, I realized this is very different to what I encountered before. There are big questions that we need to find solutions for and the more we dig into things, it turns out it’s really going to be the classical, bumpy start-up ride. This makes it a lot harder to find people who are able to take on the challenge.

On the other hand, we realized it is not so easy to get government funding. One could mean that especially the EU got a valid interest in seeing TYPO3 grow, but the whole process is so heavily overregulated that it simply needs more time than we have assumed respectively planned for in the process of preparation. And when talking to classical VC’s, most of them state they would love to be in, but would certainly be in for the money. That’s clearly not what we wanted.

The best funding is the one coming out of our own community. That’s why Adrian and Robert set up a survey, asking the members of the association whether they would be in for doing a one-time payment in 2016. With this money we could boot a small core organization and grow things organically. What looks elegant comes with the downside that it also adds a lot of risk to the whole venture. We could simply run out of money before we could organize new funds and, more importantly, make the business model work out in favor of the whole community.

For now, it’s clear we should go in phases rather than going for a big bang start. I am going to formalize all options and will publish all the findings along with a recommendation. And then it is up for discussion.

Going truly international

One thing I consider particularly important is that we are going international. We really need to come out of the DACH corner. And this does not mean that we should solely go for markets like Sweden, France, Spain and UK etc.. It means the US. The US, AND Sweden, France, Spain, UK and others. If we figure things out in the US, the rest is so much easier. It’s as simple as this.

This is where we start

I toured the agency meetups this year, saying there is a great future ahead. And I really mean it. So where we are now – and this is a team achievement – is a starting point for our trip toward an even greater TYPO3 universe. As long as we have that spirit, we can just go anywhere we want to.

An insane effort

It all sounds like an insane effort. And it probably is. But then again, there are so many people involved in TYPO3. If we can get two third of them going and just make him/her contributing what is possible for them, we can generate immense power. I am in on this more than ever. And I hope you are as well, although you might not agree with all the stuff I wrote here.

As said before, this is just my personal, private thinking and I am kind of abusing the reach that blog developed to get it shipped to you J. If you have a different vision, you disagree, I am happy to post your text and ideas on TYPO3 here as well. Just send it over, it’s a free speech world.

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