Thursday, May 28, 2015

Giving back to... who?

Short version: If you want ZaReason to buy pizza for your LUG, sign up below. Thanks!

Update: The first group was chosen at random (promise!) on 27 Aug and will be Partimus, a non-profit in the Bay Area of California.

Back to the post:

Ever since we first saw that ZaReason would continue to grow despite my (founder Cathy Malmrose) stunning lack of business acumen, we saw that a computer company that uses the free and open tools of the community should somehow find a way to give back to the community.

I have been brainstorming for how to give back to the community in that very personal yet nearly anonymous way they give to us. While our end goal is to donate to big non-profits, we have been craving a more personal approach.

Linux User Group of Davis, CA Pub Dom
A Linux User's Group meeting might be the ideal small size group meeting to support. But, personally I've had a hard time making it to LUG meetings except when they ask me to speak and then of course I go. If I'm not speaking, a few hours before the meeting I find a good excuse not to go because, like lots of good programmers, laziness is a precious part of my worldview. Even our company's business plan lists "organic growth" as our marketing strategy (because that's how the volunteer work of F/LOSS grows too)*.

Thankfully, none of us need to feel guilty about this particular type of laziness. Philipp Lenssen, explained Why Good Programmers Are Lazy and Dumb clearly enough that even non-programmers, the world at large, could see why and how we work the way we do.

So, I asked around: "What would make you want to attend a LUG?"

The almost unanimous answer? Feed me.

It turns out the basic human need to eat dinner is the missing piece. The thinking is: "I would overcome my natural tendency to stay in my cave at night in front of my many beautiful screens only if it satisfied a basic human need -- food."

Good programmers are lazy... : If your LUG uses MeetUp or other tool, you'll know approximately how many people will be showing up. Whoever runs the meeting will have one of our personal cells you can call if the meeting is cancelled or if more people show up or whatever. We'll order  some pizza to be delivered whenever you want. I don't care if you only have only three people in your meeting. Good things don't always need big numbers.

One Bitcoin worth of pizza, way to go Nejc Kodric!
Good programmers act dumb... : If I wanted this to be "smart" I would do some sort of contest or have you fill out a form or something. It would look intricate and professional. I might even list this in our marketing plan as an "outreach initiative". Um, no thank you. Instead, let's keep it simple: enter your LUG by commenting below and we'll pick a LUG at random for that month's winner. Sound good?

If you like this idea, thank Laszlow, the guy who spent $2,000,000+ on pizza and brought the concept of warm pizza to mind every time someone talks about Bitcoin or cryptocurrency or mining or how much I love people who can create new concepts. Nearly anything makes me think of Bitcoin.
I'm not poking fun (my son has a $5,000 yo-yo) just in awe of how far cryptocurrency has come since it's infancy.

* While we still have mostly organic marketing, we have an amazing marketing person on board now, Vy. If you have any questions, comments or helpful insights on how we can help ZaReason become more well-known, please let her know at

Want pizza? Comment below!

Update: We're having a beastly time getting the word out to LUG leaders. If you know of someone who might know of someone who runs a LUG or similar group, please let them know. Thanks!