[OpenStack Foundation] [board][interop] Is it time to revisit: Trademarks, Branding, and Interoperability?

Julia Kreger juliaashleykreger at gmail.com
Mon Nov 30 02:50:34 UTC 2020

Greetings everyone!

Over the past few weeks I’ve been in a number of discussions regarding
some of our most very fun topics. Branding, Trademarks, and

I think this is a good time to revisit these topics because of the
conversion from the OpenStack Foundation to the Open Infrastructure
Foundation. The further broadening of the larger community represents
both an opportunity and a checkpoint in which we should likely ask
ourselves some questions to help guide our future path.

I think what has made some of these discussions difficult in the past
is because we intertwined the topics. To meet the perceived needs of
the past, we ended up building and encoding specific models and
concepts when the only project was OpenStack. We were trying to foster
and develop an expansive ecosystem at that time. Then, it likely
seemed logical to encode this as part of the bylaws.

Except those processes have left us with something that is difficult
to amend, change, or adapt moving forward. And even that seems like a
daunting issue in itself, before we consider that non-openstack
projects have different needs. This does not mean we can not nor
should not ask ourselves what is important. We must identify where we
want to see things in the future for such programs. If we don’t
identify these things, then we can not measure future success nor
possibly identify new needs. Besides, who else is better suited to
lead projects to become more agile and responsive to emergent needs if
not the board itself?

So with those thoughts in mind, I would like for us to all mentally
take a step back and try to answer some basic questions to help frame
future discussion.

* Where do we see the value in the trademark and associated branding?
What is important? What is less important?
* How do we see branding and trademarks evolving now that the
foundation scope has expanded?
* What is the desired end goal of trademark and branding programs? Are
there multiple specific end goals?

And then there is the topic of interoperability. Looking forward it
seems like there is more than one level of interoperability that needs
to be thought of and cared about.

* At what level should we, the board, encourage
cross-community/cross-project/product/service interoperability?
* What is the end goal of interoperability in our evolved scope?
* Is the board the right level at which to have the discussions and
ultimately the technical management of the fine details regarding

I’m posing the last question for a very important reason. Our scope
has widened. We have zoomed out. The bigger picture is our focus as
the board. The lower level details of any project’s interoperability
do require fine details and specific context. To unfortunately use
another photography analogy, the repeated zoom in and zoom out does
not help us keep our focus on the bigger picture. As a board, we need
to track the picture consistently and constantly, which is the only
way we can best frame our discussions and resulting outcomes.

I hope this email brings about discussion on these topics. Not
necessarily a discussion of how or what, but more of a discussion of
means to unlock and enable.



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