Wednesday, March 04, 2009

How To Lose The Codies

The open source world has been very, very good to WaveMaker. We have a thriving online community, and through our community we have attracted customers like Cisco and Macy's, along with partners like IBM and KANA.

The open source world thrives on transparency and trust - a potent combination.

Yet every so often we get tempted to go back to the bad old proprietary world where decisions are made based on opacity and who you know.

With jaw-dropping naivete, I paid $1,100 to an organization called the Software Information Industry Association ( in order to participate in their Codies awards contest.

I was snowed by the idea that the SIIA's crack panel of judges performs thorough evaluations on scores of software products to glean "the best of the best." Unfortunately, the reality was much more mundane.

I don't know what process the winners go through, but I have detailed knowledge of the process for Codie losers. To help you save over $1,000 ($850 membership + $250 contest fee), I will share this process with you:

Process For Losing the Codie Awards [Guaranteed to Work]
  1. Pay $1,100 (very important!)
  2. Get assigned a judge (up to you to set up a meeting!)
  3. Set up a meeting
  4. Reschedule meeting when judge fails to show up for meeting
  5. Repeat steps 3-5 until contest is over
  6. Receive written evaluation from judge which demonstrates that they make up in chutzpah what they lack in integrity
In our case, the "judge" was Paul Cohen, who certainly didn't take off any time from his job at the Beverly Hills public schools on our behalf. His evaluation was that WaveMaker is a "very pricey set of web controls." It doesn't take great technical expertise to observe that this is an odd description of an open source, web-base IDE.

Ah, I thought. The Codie awards manager, Lisa Mitchell will help! After all, she helped arrange the meeting with the judge and knows that the promised meeting never happened. Not surprisingly, she has become as difficult to reach as our judget.

But then there is that ultimate arbiter of justice, the CEO of the SIIA, Ken Wasch. Surely when he sees how egregious our case is, he will at least agree to have another judge at least look at our product. After an initial friendly call, I have heard nothing from him either.

The process for losing the Codies is very transparent. The process for winning is less so.

It's a good thing that "who you know" awards are being replaced by the voice of the open source community. Shame on me for ever doubting it!

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