Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
PostgreSQL developer closes shop

By Refrag in Technology
Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 04:50:20 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)
News

GreatBridge, a key developer of PostgreSQL over the past 16 months, has finally called it quits.


GreatBridge employeed 41 employees, 38 of which are being laid off as a result. GreatBridge management has been working with Red Hat to secure positions for its staff.

Earlier this year, GreatBridge missed out on an opportunity to merge with Red Hat because of the "modest price" Red Hat offered. Since then, Red Hat has taken to developing their own database management system based off of PostgreSQL.

Hopefully, Red Hat will be able to take on some of the GreatBridge employees and bolster their efforts to compete with Oracle and Microsoft.

[News.com article]

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o GreatBridg e
o PostgreSQL
o Red Hat
o Oracle
o [News.com article]
o Also by Refrag


Display: Sort:
PostgreSQL developer closes shop | 9 comments (7 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
+1 FP (3.80 / 5) (#2)
by slaytanic killer on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 02:53:51 PM EST

Disturbing. Of all open-source software companies, I assumed it would be one to fight well.
The company ... found more customers were interested in paying for hourly consulting rather than annual support deals.
It seems like the best business model is still to be a consultancy, and advocate your "solutions" in addition to others like Oracle. A multi-pronged business model. If Open Source software generally fails in the marketplace, I wonder if it at least succeeded in changing things. After all, Open Source companies are far from the only ones failing, while inferior technology often succeeds; execution is more telling than the concept behind it.

The Problem With the Best Business Model (4.50 / 6) (#7)
by kostya on Fri Sep 07, 2001 at 03:14:34 PM EST

It seems like the best business model is still to be a consultancy, and advocate your "solutions" in addition to others like Oracle.

It would seem, but it isn't. Why? It's deceptively simple: because it is consulting work.

Let me say this very clearly: consulting is for total chumps.

Ok, for all of you who are consultants, let me first say I was one for two years. So I know a little bit about the consulting (at least IT/Software) business. With that done, why does this business model suck?

  1. The work is incredibly stressful.

    Consulting work is almost always done poorly. This is because you are being grafted on to a company that is used to working with its own. They don't know how to handle you. Or your work.

    So you are usually brought in late with little consensus and expected to work wonders that just aren't possible. But why do they expect you to work wonders?

  2. Your sales people are rank liars.

    Your sales people lie. Your competitors' salespeople lie. If you are jealous of your competitor, it is because their sales people lie and spin better than yours. But that bugs you because you hate that sales people lie, lie, lie, but if yours could just lie better, you'd have better work and a more successful company.

    Here's the problem: truth doesn't sell. At least not successfully. And you need business--lots of it--to stay on top as a consulting firm (Great Bridge had 40 some, that's quite a few people). So even if you are damn good at your job, your salespeople are going to have to lie somehow to get you hired--because everyone is doing it. Especially if you are a small firm. So you get hired because the client believes you can get it done in 3 months when you know full well it will take 6. This reality check leads to #1.

    Sobering truth: if your sales people don't lie, they have to sell you cheap. So if they do tell the truth, they have to sacrifice on price. So now the company doesn't make nearly as much money off of your daily sweat, but you are happy. Guess what? Sales people are usually paid on commission. So do you think they will choose to tell the truth and charge less or lie a little about time and talent to secure higher earnings? Especially when you are conscientious schmuck and always meet your deadlines because it is about "professional pride" and "taking one for the team"?

  3. You get paid squat.

    Consider that your consulting firm will hire you at around $800 to $1000 a day. That's around $100 to $125 a day. How much do you get paid? Probably $60k/year if your lucky. How much is $60k really when you include benefits? About $35/hour if you are lucky.

    It just takes one grumpy day for you to realize this as a consultant. They are billing you out at least at 3 probably 4 times what you get paid in the end. Add to that the certain fact that your manager makes at least $20k more than you, and the CEO probably twice what you make. And what do they do? Yeah, it makes you grumpy fast.

    And on top of that, you don't work 40 hours, do you? No, due to #1 and #2, you easily work 50 to 60 hours regularly. Guess what, that means you are making even less per hour. And what do you get? Stock options if you are lucky--funny bits of paper that might be worth something some day. But not right now they aren't.

Due to the above reasons, working for a consulting company will always suck. Sure, you'll try to find reasons to believe, people to trust, leaders to hope in, but you will always be disappointed and end up at the same conclusion in the end.

Why do I work here? Why not go out on my own? It can't suck any worse than this. And guess what--it doesn't.

My advice: find a solid full-time company or go become a contractor. Either one is better than being a slave to a consulting company, the company that claims over and over agian that it isn't a "contractor whorehouse" but is--except they don't pay as well.



----
Veritas otium parit. --Terence
[ Parent ]
Why is that? (1.25 / 4) (#4)
by darthaya on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 04:52:23 PM EST

Greatbridge, running a consulting service that is deemed as the perfect business model for open source softwares, couldn't make enough money for its ass.

I have used postgresql in my projects, and it is one amazing piece of software! It supports numerous useful features and the speed is quite satisfying.(for my not very demanding need) That makes you wonder how can other companies survive if postgresql company fails.

Why is that? (3.66 / 3) (#5)
by darthaya on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 04:52:36 PM EST

Greatbridge, running a consulting service that is deemed as the perfect business model for open source softwares, couldn't make enough money for its ass.

I have used postgresql in my projects, and it is one amazing piece of software! It supports numerous useful features and the speed is quite satisfying.(for my not very demanding need) That makes you wonder how can other companies survive if postgresql company fails.

free software? (2.50 / 2) (#8)
by klamath on Fri Sep 07, 2001 at 09:05:57 PM EST

k5 resident anti-Free Software. Free Software means Communism and communism is BAD[tm].
Are you serious?

[ Parent ]
I don't understand (4.33 / 3) (#6)
by mami on Thu Sep 06, 2001 at 05:59:20 PM EST

... how many of the GreatBridge developers are now taken over by RedHat ? Wouldn't it have been the most important thing to think about how to keep people employed and not under which
company's name the developers would do the same kind of work in the end anyway ?

The enduser really doesn't care if it's GreatBridge or RedHat who gets the job done, but they do care that good projects don't die and developers make a decent living.

Hopefully RedHat will make it through and keep developers working on the good stuff.


Customers too smart? (3.50 / 2) (#9)
by SlydeRule on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 01:35:38 PM EST

Great Bridge "could not get customers to pay us big dollars for support contracts" (Frank Batten, Great Bridge founder, as quoted in the news.com article linked above).

Maybe the customers didn't want to "pay big dollars" for contracts which would be worthless when the company went under.

PostgreSQL developer closes shop | 9 comments (7 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!