Subject: Cooperation
From: "Harry Bacheler" <hbacheler -at- geo -dot- census -dot- gov>
To: "TECHWR-L" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 15:31:57 -0500

From: Harry Bacheler [hbacheler -at- geo -dot- census -dot- gov]
Sent: Friday, December 10, 1999 3:06 PM
Subject: RE: Cooperation (Was: contacting Competitors)

To All

This reply is in response to Brent Jones's kind comments (which are included

It was not my intent to suggest 'cold-calling' or the like.

I agree that there should be some sort of 'connection', but how is that
communication channel to be established.

If we are all sharing the TECHWR-L listserv, there is a community that
is growing, and contacts that are being established.

I do not suggest that the first, second or even the third contact is the
appropriate time to 'just ask'.

However, over time, with the threads, etc., and the FAQs some of the
information may already be available. It is not inappropriate to ask
for clarification.

Even then, discretion is the better part of valor, so to speak.

There are MANY books, publications, and papers that have been written
on all subjects. How to estimate jobs, how to price yourself, how do
you 'write'. In a large number of those cases, you will see the
author's name, phone number, and/or email address. Therefore, I believe
that this establishes the beginnings of a 'connection'.

However, I do also believe that some interchange of ideas should occur -
prior to "just ask".

We must remember that we can always say "... that is proprietary
but here are some of the references that I have used ...". this is not only
polite and appropriate, but helps to establish the parameters of the
that will be made available, then and in the future. It also provides
for others to use, so they don't have to "just ask".

"Just say NO" is always appropriate.

As professionals, we should respect the above.


Harry M. Bacheler, Jr.

"The thoughts and ideas expressed in this email are mine, and mine alone.
No others
were involved."

> Harry Bacheler wrote on 08 December 1999 15:28:
> [some good points deleted]
> > 6) Unless your company is in 'direct competition' with the
> > other company, why not just ask?
> >

I really don't think you can 'just ask' w/out some sort of prior
connection or introduction. Speaking for myself (and I don't see myself as
particularly unfriendly or misanthropic), I would feel very strange if
someone I didn't know or had never met called me up or emailed me out of the
asking me how I did my job/scheduling/whatever, or if I
could give them help doing the same. Irrespective of whether that person
worked for a
'competitor' or not, I would think it odd, rude behavior and I don't think
I'd react in a very helpful way.

Forums like TECHWR-L are different, of course. I have chosen to
become part of a communal sharing of information and opinions--there's a
'introduction' at play. Same w/ conferences. *These* venues are where
introductions should be made, paving the way for future professional
contacts and the sharing of information. Cold-calling someone,
*especially* a competitor, and asking for advice or information would
result in hostility, or at least a very strained atmosphere.


Brent Jones, Documentation Manager
bjones -at- versatilesoftware -dot- com
JADE Solutions
Office: 303 448 1019 x 40
FAX: 303 449 1548

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