[Ambassadors] Red Hat's investments (was Re: Going passive)

Jared K. Smith jsmith at fedoraproject.org
Tue Nov 9 20:37:35 UTC 2010

On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 2:35 PM, Christoph Wickert
<christoph.wickert at googlemail.com> wrote:
> Fedora contributors are helping Red Hat to grow an ecosystem for Free
> Software and Red Hat builds their enterprise product on top of that. The
> amount of work that goes into Fedora is relevant to Red Hat's business
> value.

Christoph makes a very valid point, and I don't want to belabor it too
much, but I do want to point out that the help goes both ways.  When
explaining the relationship, I always start by saying:

Fedora would not be what it is today without the help of Red Hat.
Red Hat would not be what it is today without the help of Fedora.

It's that simple.  It's a complementary relationship.  That's not to
say that it's always perfect.  It isn't.  And when it isn't, I get to
be involved because I'm the FPL.  Part of my job is to be the primary
catalyst for communication between Red Hat (the corporate folks) and
Fedora (the diverse community).  I'm constantly trying to improve the
communication and trust between the two entities. (I say two entities,
but in same cases the same person might be part of both groups, such
as is the case with my job.  I'm a Red Hat employee, and I'm part of
the Fedora community.)  As always, I appreciate input on how I can
better facilitate this communication.

In short, I see this relationship as a win-win situation.  Fedora gets
more resources (money, manpower, marketing, legal help, etc.) to help
us innovate faster as a community.  Red Hat gets to use Fedora as a
technology incubator and a more natural and transparent mechanism for
interacting with upstream communities.  Either one without the other
just wouldn't be the same.

Jared Smith
Fedora Project Leader

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