Dries and Acquia: my two cents

As most Drupal people are aware, Dries announced his new company, Acquia. While I'm certainly not breaking the story, I have had several discussions with members of the community since the announcement that make me feel compelled to post here (imagine that!).

First off, I'd like to publicly say: Congrats, Dries! I wish you nothing but the best, dude, and look forward to chance to finally work together in the "real world" ;)

As someone who has been involved in Drupal companies as long as there has been such a thing, I've been asked quite a few times for my thoughts on the big news - specifically, the potential impact it will have on other Drupal companies. So here it is: this is a good thing for all of us running Drupal companies.

I think Dries has done a good job explaining the impact that Acquia won't have on the community: there will be no forks, no proprietary Drupal, and Acquia doesn't own Drupal (the trademark or the domains). Dries is the same guy who has volunteered his spare time to running this community and who established the Drupal Association with the specific mandate that the technical direction of the code remains with the community... Acquia doesn't change this.

For those of us running services companies (which is most of us), Acquia's presence only brings added awareness and additional products to our market. There will be plenty of chances to work together as well has several indirect benefits. For those who haven't read it: Acquia is a product company. For Drupal product companies (and I can only think of two), there is no scarcity here. By attracting investors and others to the market, Acquia will raise the visibility for everyone and ultimately grow the market. The RedHat analogy Dries provides is a good one: RedHat has grown (if not created) the space for linux companies with their presence and success.

The most exciting part? Dries is going to be working full-time on Drupal!

Which brings me to my only concern: that Dries doesn't get to work on Drupal full-time (or worst case - at all). Starting up a company can be hard and it is Dries' first. This is where Jay, his advisers and his future staff will be extremely important. Surrounding yourself with great people is crucial. I believe Dries will continue do so.

I'm excited for Dries as a supporter, a colleague and a friend. The adventure continues!

James Walker

James Walker (a.k.a. walkah) is an independent developer and hacker. He is a long time Drupal developer, but these days spends more time in Python, Ruby and Javascript.

You can follow him on twitter or github.

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