Wednesday, April 1, 2009

New CEO appointed


So I’ve not blogged much recently but that’s because at CloudMade we’re doing moar stuff ftw than ever before (I must stop stretching these memes, it’s getting painful). Obviously it’s all super-secret stuff that I can’t tell the community about, but I figure the loyal readers of this blog are entitled to a preview. So:

  • Our editor is almost ready. Really. Having distracted RichardF with API 0.6, Frederik with ODbL, and the Merkaartor guys with Stefan de Konink, the three incumbents have been in feature stasis for months now which means we can blow them away with a mere flick of the toolbar. We’ve actually hired the People’s Map guys to write our editor - we wanted people who really understand the user experience. But more on that at Where 2.0.
  • Location is everywhere. It's all about pervasive geocontext. CloudMade is dedicated to pushing the boundaries so we have 30 people working on geocontext. We don’t actually know what it means yet but we’re determined that when someone invents it, we’ll be there first.
  • We don’t just aim to reinvent mapping. Oh no. We set our sights high and so we also have a plan to reinvent the Internet. The existing infrastructure is just not fast enough for the increasing demands of the 21st century (e.g. cycle-map tiles, Map Features page, long anguished e-mails about ODbL) so we need a speedier replacement. Our new Internet will solve this. All packets will be delivered by shaunmcdonald on his bike.
  • Midnight Commander is not just meant to look like the Matrix. It is the Matrix. It’s set up in my basement on a 40in plasma screen and I do have a five-year plan for world domination. “No, Mr Ramm, I expect you to die” - you know the drill.

But I realise that, even for someone like me who is able to be in three continents at the same time - oh did I mention we were working on that too? - this is a bit of a stretch. Take this posting for example - I set myself a deadline of midday for this and I’ll only just make it. I have to give something up.

Also some of our wonderful community has been muttering (in German) about conflict of interest, or as Google Translate has it, “blitzkrieg of hobby”. Personally I don’t agree but I'll let it pass in the interests of community cohesion - as you know shitting on active members of the community and telling them they're worthless has never been my style.

Also I need to take some time out to instil discipline in the troops, what with Matt and Andy promoting insurrection on legal-talk and ymca-discuss and who-knows-what about ODbL. The shtick to the investors that “we need ODbL because it gives us certainty” kind of wears off when our own super-intelligent techies keep posting that they don’t understand it.

So I’m stepping down as Chairman of OSMF at this year’s elections - my three years are up and I’ve decided not to seek reelection. Instead we’ve decided to replace the Chairman post with that of CEO - paid staff for OSMF is one of our top priorities and this is the obvious place to start.

Now you’d be A Fool if you did this without any succession planning so I’m pleased to announce our preferred candidate will be SFan00. Those of you who don’t read #osm might not be familiar with him but I’m sure you’ll find his enthusiastic style will ingratiate him with you immediately. Indeed Mr Fan is equally intelligible in every language so the German guys will love him right from the off. He even says “ftw” now and then although we think this is probably a spelling mistake for something else. It’s going to be an exciting time.