This is a repost of Kurt's original reply, which was quite helpful to me.
From: Kurt Lieber [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 7:11 PM
Subject: Re: [Fwd: [gentoo-nfp] Summary of NFP options]
> Several developers like the idea of the coop but wanted Gentoo to have
> its own NFP entity separate from the cooperatives. I am perfectly
> willing to do this -- just set up the NFP entity alone, and then set
> up the cooperatives or leave the NFP to figure out how to fund itself if
> It certainly makes my job easier, and my desire was for the coop to be
> a "good thing" for gentoo developers and I was trying to ensure its
> success by setting up funding for the entity ahead of time. If you
> don't want it, I won't do it.
I think the coop idea is a good thing and I think it may be something that
Gentoo should take advantage of. However, I think Gentoo should be
completely decoupled so that both organizations are able to decide freely
for themselves what is best for each group.
The coop is a brand new idea. Nobody has really done anything like it
before, so it's likely to take a great deal of thought and effort to get set
up correctly. I'd hate to see the Gentoo NFP efforts get delayed as a
When the coop is finally set up and ready to go, each organization can look
at the other, ensure they still share the same values and goals and then
decide how best to partner at that point.
> You will need to choose between an "open, participatory" (and
> co-optable) and a "closed, non-co-optable" (and
> non-representative/unfair) governing model. So let me know which you
> prefer and I'll get it set up. The other alternative is to try to find
> some kind of compromise, where the government for the not-for-profit
> isn't too fair or open, but is more bureaucratic and harder to co-opt. Let
me know which one appeals to you.
My personal $.02:
I'd like to see a closed, non-co-optable model. Both models have their
weaknesses, but I think the open one is more susceptible to groupthink, not
to mention coersion. I think a closed model, combined with an active, vocal
community (which Gentoo certainly has) allows for a solid feedback loop
without running the risks of coersion.
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