Welcome to the 4th instalment of an 8-part blog series we're calling "The Ultimate Guide to Drupal 8." Whether you're a site builder, module or theme developer, or simply an end-user of a Drupal website, Drupal 8 has tons in store for you! This blog series will attempt to enumerate the major changes in Drupal 8. Successive posts will gradually get more technical, so feel free to skip to later parts (once they're published) if you're more on the geeky side.
Jonathan Sims is Assistant Professor of Strategy at Babson College. A 2013 PhD graduate from the University of Texas at Austin, he wrote his dissertation on entrepreneurship within Drupal.
Over four years ago, as a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin, I made a risky move. I asked my advisors, all hard-core researchers, to foot the bill to send me to SXSW Interactive. I told them that “Interactive” was the future of SXSW, a conference that at the time was known far more for music and film. I needed a dissertation topic, and argued that the conference that birthed Foursquare and Twitter was a great place to look. They took the bait.
At the conference, I attended a session entitled, “Selling the Milk when the Cow is Free.” Several of you were there. It was my first introduction to open source business models. The panel spoke eloquently about the business benefits of “giving back” and “riding the community wave.” For a student of strategy, these were almost heretical ideas. Dominant strategy theories emphasized the “resource based view,” arguing that companies should protect, even at great cost, whatever resources they had that were valuable, rare, or difficult to imitate or substitute.
Here was a room full of entrepreneurs succeeding by doing the opposite. I’d found my dissertation topic, and a new friend – for on that panel was Palatir’s Tiffany Ferris, who told me I “must go” to my first DrupalCon in San Francisco. Four DrupalCons and a Drupal-themed dissertation now behind me, I continue to research the novel business ideas that make Drupal firms so successful.
Over the next several weeks, I’ll be sharing those research findings in a series of posts.
In the next post, I’ll reflect the main findings of my dissertation, which was made possible thanks to the support of the Drupal Association and the 250 organizations that completed the Drupal Business Survey. If you’re interested in reading more about the results of that survey, I’ve worked with a talented team at Palantir to make a formal report available for download.
Later this year, I will be launching another Drupal Business Survey in partnership with the DA. We’re still putting on the finishing touches… and in the spirit of Drupal, we’re asking what you would like to know. What research questions do you have for entrepreneurs in the Drupal community? Send you suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet me @jonsims.
Next Up: Four “So What” Research Findings about the Drupal Community
The Acquia Cloud API is a web service and CLI that allows developers to build powerful tools, automate repetitive tasks, and create custom development and testing workflows for sites on the Acquia Cloud platform. Released two years ago, our customers and partners have been building amazing things on Acquia Cloud API and we figured it was time to share some of them.