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San Francisco, CA, United States
Interests: food, soccer, small business, web technology, espresso
Recent Activity
Some businesses might enable outside development through an API or shared open-source libraries. Xobni seems to rely on more closed source products such as Outlook, but I imagine you might be able to find people who enjoy writing Windows desktop search engines, BlackBerry applications or social data collapsers in their spare time. Such outside participation could provide a signal helpful in evaluating a development tool. Do you run incoming e-mails from applicants through Xobni's servers to expand known data and context? Would be cool to see that name@domain.tld is active on certain public software development mailing lists or is connected with existing devs.
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I think the market friction isn't just between onshore and offshore, but an extreme bias towards locality. Businesses like to work with developers in their own back yard, who they feel are on-call at any particular time. A new trend is local engineering contractors fulfilling orders through their own offshore practices. Businesses enjoy the competitive bidding structure while trusting a local resource for talent discovery, training, and QA. It would be interesting if there was less transaction friction in the engineering space. The change in hourly rate in long-lived open source expert consulting (e.g. MySQL, Sun, Percona) might be a good meter.
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The difference may be in personal vs. corporate memberships. Many companies now have healthy work initiatives including free or discounted memberships to all employees. This practice may skew the total number of new memberships engaged by personal actors. Other random stats I've heard: 10% of a gym's membership actually uses their membership every month. In Sydney 90% of young adults belong to a gym.
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Wouldn't it be cool if the TypePad button above used the TypePad widget API? TypePad bloggers could easily add the button to their sidebars.
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