I had an intriguing conversation with someone at DrupalCon about the emergence of Drupal Apps.  So I thought I’d offer an outsider’s viewpoint.

One concern I heard is that the emergence of apps into the space will destabilize the balance of power, perhaps changing the open, sharing, generous culture of the Drupal community.  This is probably right.

But the key question is not IF this is going to happen.  If there’s money to be made, it most certainly will.

The question is whether the Drupal community wants this destabilizing influence to come from the inside or the outside.  If it doesn’t emerge from inside the community, then you can be certain that “outsiders” – those who just want to use Drupal as a money-making opportunity – will do it.

After all, the economy is driven primarily by people seeking to make money.  As an industry matures, any original altruistic motives tend to lose power to those making the money.

I’m not arguing that there’s no role for altruistic motives – I’m not THAT cynical.  But to survive, they need to allow people to make money, to differentiate, to go after lucrative markets.

My advice to the Drupal Community:  Start doing some experiments to make change happen from within – at least give it a try.  Otherwise others will come in, bypassing the great culture you’ve built up, and force change upon you.

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