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Counting on Collaboration

Here in the US we're celebrating Labor Day, a holiday created to honor the spirit of the unions and the collective bargaining that established the rights of American workers. I thought it would be a good day to point at the latest NewsWire Q&A interview, a talk with the founder of the now-defunct user group Interex, Doug Mecham. All though our talk Mecham mentioned the power of collaboration — how working closely with the management of HP gave the HP 3000 a chance to become the reliable system you count upon today.

Collaboration can have a pejorative definition, too; in the second World War the collaborators who were women had their heads shaved, and the men were usually killed. Similar passions still live in the 3000 community, where one group of customers believes HP is the enemy for deciding to end its 3000 business. One of the greatest marks of growth the our ability to change our viewpoint, however. OpenMPE seems to be working from a model of collaboration, rather than conflict. One of the group's board directors, John Burke, had strong words about the level of collaboration before he joined. Now he's the group's Webmaster, a key part of the OpenMPE communication with customers.

At this point in its lifespan, the 3000 needs more collaboration than conflict. Labor and management had bitter, bloody battles in the US before a mission of cooperation emerged. I hope that's where the 3000 community is heading in these key months before HP ends its 3000 operations. Looking around the Gulf Coast this week should be all we need to see how much more we can accomplish by working together.