February 12, 2009

PyCon Open Space Session Idea

I just saw Mark Cuban's Open Source Funding blog post (as many interesting ideas do, this one came my way via Seth Godin). If anyone in the Python world is looking to fund new ideas then this might be worth looking at, given that they will already have a predisposition to open source anyway. So here's an idea for a PyCon session.

Get together in an Open Space room with a few like-minded individuals and see if you can't come up with a plan for a real cash-generating business that Cuban would fund. As far as I can see from the first 684 responses there's still a lot of room for real business plans. If you need cash this would be a good way to get it, and who knows - you might find a way of getting the business off the ground without cash, thereby avoiding the need to hand over a chunk of your equity!

If you are looking for a way to start a new business it's hard to think of a better pool of Python talent than the one that congregates at PyCon every year. As far as ideas goes, PyCon might also be a good place to collect those. Most of these aren't computer-related, but here's a list of 999 business ideas that anyone could consider. Why shouldn't the Python world have a similar list?


Doug Hellmann said...

Sounds like a great idea!

Jonathan Ellis said...

There's value in talking ideas over with others. But there's little if any value in Cuban's offer. VCs have a bad reputation but Cuban's terms are significantly worse than you will get from any reputable VC.

Bottom line: if you have a plan that could convince Cuban would be break-even in 60 days and profitable in 90, you have all kinds of better options, from angels to VCs to credit cards.

Steve said...


This assumes that the people with the ideas have the energy, incentive and wherewithal to pursue the ideas. For a response which takes up Cuban's offer in the open source spirit take a look at my response to Cuban's post (it's about #1110) concerning multiple-choice email responses.

I don't have the time for it, but it could solve a problem for disabled people. Sadly the disabled people would be the secondary market for everyone who thinks that the purpose of ideas is profit.

Mark Cuban, however, might actually find a use for such a program ...

Please don't take this as an ad hominem attack. You are already well up on my list of givers! Stop thinking money, start thinking societal benefits.

Steve said...

Jonathan: And nothing Cuban said forces anyone to ask for his assistance. Yet still people find the energy to moan about the conditions :)