Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Zanby welcomes the Kossacks

Kos posted about the creation of Zanby on late Monday night. He duly notes that we will likely not be alone in our endeavor. However, we are in a unique position to build a vision. Gatheroo is in the fortunate postion of being created by an outstanding software development company and informed by one of the premier MeetUp organizers in the country. We also have a great partner in CivicSpace.

It's interesting to note that the blurb about Zanby happened in the context of another discussion about whether or not vendors - particularly technology vendors - should be partisan.

The founders of Zanby are probably split on that. About half of us, me included, are almost full time activists for the Democrats here in Minnesota. Sometimes we walk a fine line between keeping food on the table and doing the world some good. The other half are motivated either by the potential profit or the fact that we are making one of the coolest pieces of software out there. I am overjoyed to be working at the nexus of all three.

While our motives in starting Zanby are squarely in the change-the-world camp, we have to make a profit or we won't be around very long. We don't have to make much of one, but we have to make one. That is the point of practicing enlightened capitalism. It is possible to provide goods and services that make the world a better place and generate enough profit to sustain the business and its employees.

In so doing, it is not possible to avoid providing goods and services to people who do not agree with my political views. It is not possible and it should not be possible. People of all political stripes will be welcome on Zanby, provided they don't advocate hate crimes. That being said, our target market is the progressive community. I don't expect to be buying ads on Town Hall anytime soon. You won't ever see a press release celebrating Zanby's new contract with the GOP. But the site itself will be open to all. That's the spirt of free enterprise and the spirit of open source.


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