Writing Web Notes Style

Why we take writing so seriously and how we bumped into a serious writer like Priya.

 · 4 min read

Hiring a writer has been a problem area for us for many year. Reluctantly, I put an ad yet again on a popular job site. I liked Priya's resume and asked her to prepare a sample writeup introducing Open Source to a non-technical person. Here is what she sent us:

What is Open Source (Attempt #1)

There are some people who believe that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Things which appear to be free are always paid for in some way or the other. Open source software is like a free lunch. Some believe it is free, some don’t.

When a particular software program is written by a programmer for the general public free of charge, it is called open source software. This software can be run and studied by mass users. They can change it, upgrade it or distribute it. This software is created by a group of professionals who keep the code open for improvement by other peers. Due to this practice a product that is largely bug-free is evolved.

Some of the open source software’s are Linux, Mozilla Firefox, Apache HTTP Server, osCommerce etc. Linux is a freely distributable operating system which runs on different platforms. It is free and thus extremely popular as compared to the proprietary operating systems. Partially non-free GNU/Linux and its derivative Android, an operating system for mobile devices has stormed the markets. Proprietary software’s like the Apple, or Windows are struggling to retain their market share. The mobile market that uses Android is capturing markets at a very fast pace. One starts wondering why this free lunch? What is the development philosophy of this software that is free? The rationale behind this movement is that a larger group of programmers who are not concerned with proprietary ownerships or financial gains design these products. They are satisfied with peer recognition and freedom to make powerful reliable software. Some thrive on fun and challenge of doing it; others hope that they will profit from add-on tools and paid technical support services.

If you are a business group who wish to compete with large organizations, with limited budget to spend on software, open source is your answer. It gives greater penetration and competitive advantage like Android gave to Micromax. It is reliable and inexpensive. It thrives on quicker innovation and flexible technology. Open source is also open to hackers who know about the weaknesses and loopholes of the software as compared to the closed source software. Thus, if you are in a business that requires fierce protection of your data, open source is not a good recommendation.

Open source is moving into ERP (Enterprise resource planning and CRM (customer relationship management). You can manage accounting, inventory, sales and a lot more at an affordable package. You can say bye-bye to expensive license fees and vendor lock-ins. Welcome the freedom to customize.

Priya Shrivastava
27th June 2013

That was a reasonably okay writeup, but lacked a punch. Explaining what I wanted, I sent her Jason Fried's wonderful article on what is wrong with business writing. But considering the poor quality of responses I got, I still thought it might be a good idea to interview her. Within a few hours, she sent another writeup:

What is Open Source (Attempt #2)

I was a die-hard Nokia fan. Nobody on this earth could convince me into buying a Samsung. I was their most loyal, staunch customer. Nokia had brand value, good battery life and most important of all, every time it fell on the ground and broke in to pieces, I could still put it back together. It worked every time. It rose from the ashes like a phoenix.

Today, I have a Micromax! What made me dump my most trusted brand? Simple, I got a brand that had all the features of a Nokia, cost less than half of what a Nokia would cost and gave me a system which was new , stylish, easy to operate and didn’t break into pieces, every time it kissed mother earth. Nokia was waiting for its proprietary windows operating system. I couldn’t wait. I got a Micromax which operated on Android. It was fast, easy to operate, and sleek. The market offered me Samsung. You see, why pay 40,000/- when you can get the same features, look and feel for 10,000/. So that was the main reason why I shifted my loyalties. I saved my money. Open source software is your option to save money. If you are trying to compete with industry stalwarts, if you are concerned about breaking even, if you want to give cutting edge technology and good quality product without going bankrupt, open source is your answer. Android is partial non-free open source software. Some others are Linux, Mozilla Firefox, Apache HTTP Server, osCommerce etc.

When a particular software program is written by a programmer for the general public free of charge, it is called open source software. This software can be run and studied by mass users. They can change it, upgrade it or distribute it. This software is created by a group of professionals who keep the code open for improvement by other peers. Due to this practice a product that is largely bug-free is evolved.

Open source is moving into ERP (Enterprise resource planning and CRM (customer relationship management). You can manage accounting, inventory, sales and a lot more at an affordable package. You can say bye-bye to expensive license fees and vendor lock-ins. Embrace the new affordable technology and give the industry giants a run for their money.

Priya Shrivastava
June 27, 2013

Now, I was totally impressed. This was great. I shared it with everyone on the team and they found it great too.

Hiring is tough, but if you look hard enough, I think you can still find what you want. There is a saying in Hindi "If you look hard enough, you will also find God". So keep looking!


Rushabh Mehta

Rushabh is a software developer and founder of ERPNext. He usually writes about the startup experience, open source and the technologies he is working on.

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