The best part about WordPress and Open Source is that my competitors, the people I try to ‘steal’ customers from?
We share drinks and dinner, have honest conversations about everything from family troubles to bra sizes. We lament about sports sometimes, other times tease each other for lamenting over a sport. We argue about recipes and brands and drinks. When shit happens, we fire up the Internet and help out, donating a couple bucks or just showing up with a car. Sometimes we go and grab the right person for the job right away and introduce them. We find couches and beds for people to sleep on instead of airports. We drive each other to airports. We get into fights about politics and ethics and religion and morals. We publicly thank each other, regularly.
If you can’t tell, my competitors are my friends.
This doesn’t mean we don’t argue and fight about the ‘right’ way to do something, or if something should be done at all. We’re passionate, vocal, and can get ourselves into trouble that way. But at the end, because we’re friends, we respect each other.
And yeah, I totally try to one-up them sometimes and get people over to my camp. But … the thing is, when I do that, when I have a cool new thing I’ve done? I share it. My code is their code. These competitors offer me help with mine, as I do with theirs. I’ve suggested people use them instead of me. I’ve refunded someone when I realized they were hunting down the wrong tree, and someone else was the right place to go. I have answered their support tickets, and they have answered mine. We compete against each other with absolute co-respect.
Competition is a good thing, it drives us forward, but not at the cost or detriment of each other. We move ahead by pulling everyone along with us.
It’s actually a really cool way to work.