inessential by Brent Simmons

Core Values

Gus Mueller reflects on two talks from the Çingleton conference: Matt Drance’s talk on leadership and Jonathan Rentzsch’s talk on core values:

In [C4 release]; Jon described why he ended his C4 conference. In short it was over the addition of Section 3.3.1 of the iPhone Developer agreement (which basically said you could only write iPhone apps in Cocoa) and the lack of condemnation from the developer community. When Apple added that section I thought it was stupid, but hey it’s their platform they can do what they want. And so like most developers, I didn’t say anything about it.

That was a personal mistake on my part. And I didn’t realize just how big a mistake it was until Jon’s talk and the razor sharp way he described how he felt.

It’s a good reminder. The web is full of people taking stands that don’t cost them anything. What about when it might cost you something? That’s when courage is needed; that’s when taking a stand means something.

Also: when a friend of yours takes a principled stand, it’s worth your attention. You may disagree. But, if you agree, can you leave him or her to stand alone?

At the time I was apathetic. I thought it was mainly about apps developed using Flash, and I was more than happy to never see one of those. (And I’ve also said that developers who want to write iOS apps really should learn Objective-C, because they’re hindering themselves if they don’t. So I didn’t really get what Jon was talking about.)

But if you suggest that maybe it was because I lacked courage, that my explanation above is a cop-out, I won’t dispute it. I plan to do better next time.

PS My second-favorite podcast these days is Edge Cases by Andrew Pontious and Jonathan Rentzsch, the Tenspeed and Brown Shoe of the development world. Definitely worth subscribing to. (My favorite is still, God save me, Roderick on the Line.)