Creating the initial list of potential members "List of potential members of the TPF Ecosystem group or Advisory board" was the easy part. I just listed the names of the companies and the source where I got the names from. Either a person, or a link to a web site or a link to a job offer on jobs.perl.org.
In some cases I already have direct contact to a CTO or some other manager as we met on one of the previous events or as Renee Baecker or one of my other friends introduced me.
For now I'll keep in touch with those but I think I won't get in touch with other companies until I understand that TPF would be OK by receiving money. Yeah that sounds strange but right now it seems they don't know what to do with the money they have.
So what happens, when I start building the contacts?
In the case where I got the information from a person directly I can try to ask that person to introduce me to their CTO, CIO, VP RnD or even the CEO, for smaller companies. In some cases they can do that. In others I'll will need to look for alternative routes.
For companies that have already sponsored a Perl event I'll ask the event organizer to help me get introduced. For companies that are clients of some of the training companies I hope we can use the already existing contacts.
Without personal contact
The difficult part will be the companies that are listed on jobs.perl.org. I prefer not to cold call them as that is hard and usually leads to quick rejection. Sending an e-mail to the address on the job offer would probably not work well either. They are looking for CVs there. I guess trying to get in touch with them that way will lead to nowhere in the good case and backfire in the bad case.
So there I'll need to work harder and find someone who already works there. For that there are two good tools. LinkedIn and Xing which is a more German focused service.
The first contact
I don't think contacting a CTO or an HR manager with "give some money to TPF" will work well. I'll first need to prepare some description of what does TPF and the Perl community do now and ask the person on the other end if we can help them somehow in their use of Perl. The text itself will need to be refined over time and there might be different versions depending the job description of the recipient or the size of the company.
In the description of what TPF does and what we are planning to do with the money I'll probably include a lot more than just the promotional part. TPF provides grants for development of Perl 5, CPAN modules and Perl 6. I'll probably will need to put together a list of successful projects and a list of projects that could be done. Or could be done faster if there was money for a grant.
Getting support from the community
Alberto commented on my grant requests that it is too egocentric. My point was to show that I'll do the hard work.
With that said, my understand is that while there needs to be a lot of organizational work behind this it is critical for the success of the project that the Perl community will embrace it. It is critical that people will raise their hands we also use Perl a lot and help me get in touch with the managers so we can build a business level contact as well.
IMHO it is also critical that a growing number of people in the Perl community will help in promoting Perl just by going to various events and talk about it. Either in formal presentations or at a Perl booth.
In October 2010 the Perl Ecosystem Group was established.
Published on 2010-07-05 by Gabor Szabo