Happy Mondays

We’re not twistin’ your melon man, iFamily have decided to reinvent our work week. We believe the meaning of life is to be happy, and we now believe that by giving back to WordPress, Monday mornings will be less manic and more happy.

Inspired by the great presentation Brad Williams gave at WordCamp London yesterday: Hiring Employee Number One: From Freelance To Agency and ignited by the fact that there are some very strong arguments for getting behind this open and free publishing system.

Earlier Laura Kalbag’s presentation reminded us all of just how important it is to get behind a platform which doesn’t trade in it’s users data. Other presentations show how others are using it to help push cancer research forward and others to help women in distress.

A leap of faith

Brad gave an honest and fascinating talk about how he and his partner Brian Messenlehner took a ‘leap of faith’ and started WebDevStudios. He openly shared how they built WebDevStudios up from their ‘crack shack’ into one of the world’s best WordPress focused design and development agencies.

View Hiring Employee Number One: From Freelance To Agency slides.

Brad mentioned that Matt Mullenweg had suggested that it would be a good idea for businesses that make money from WordPress to contribute 5% of their people back into the open source project.

Five for the future

I think a good rule of thumb that will scale with the community as it continues to grow is that organizations that want to grow the WordPress pie (and not just their piece of it) should dedicate 5% of their people to working on something to do with core — be it development, documentation, security, support forums, theme reviews, training, testing, translation or whatever it might be that helps move WordPress mission forward.

~ Matt Mullenweg, Five for the future

Giving back to WordPress

So WebDevStudios started setting aside Friday afternoons for the whole team to individually give back to WordPress. But they soon realised that this was neither the best day nor time of the week to contribute to WordPress.

Forking Fridays

Working on client services, Friday afternoon was often hectic, just trying to complete their valuable work on time. Their WordPress contributions slipped a little.

But they then had a genuine Aha! moment. A blinding flash of inspiration and perhaps a path to nirvana that others could follow? Fork Fridays; Monday mornings is where it’s at!

Hands up who likes Monday mornings?

Nope. Me neither. Bob Geldof even wrote a song about a tragic and senseless violent act attributed to the Monday morning blues.

I Don’t like Mondays

I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with Fingers [no relation ;)] and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out. Not liking Mondays as a reason for doing somebody in is a bit strange. I was thinking about it on the way back to the hotel and I just said ‘Silicon chip inside her head had switched to overload’. I wrote that down. And the journalists interviewing her said, ‘Tell me why?’ It was such a senseless act. It was the perfect senseless act and this was the perfect senseless reason for doing it. So perhaps I wrote the perfect senseless song to illustrate it. It wasn’t an attempt to exploit tragedy.
~ Bob Geldof, I Don’t like Mondays

Brad and his team started setting aside time first thing Monday morning to do this instead of Friday. Now there’s a great reason to leap out of bed on a Monday morning with a smile on your face! Brad said that this policy is working really well for his business. His agency is now regularly giving back to WordPress and his staff are all the better for it too. As is WordPress.

Great WordPressers steal

Now this is a plan worth stealing! But, excluding cats and underage workers, iFamily is just Susan and I. ‘5% of our people’ could be just one hand or half a leg, which wouldn’t help WordPress that much. So we thought it wiser to contribute some time instead.