We are too old - or so we thought - to still be naïve. You might be familiar with the feeling – you and reps of some other company are sitting and talking and talking about possible cooperation, and you are so hoping that this time it’s for real. You actually force yourself to believe that it’s the real thing this time, when suddenly the other party says something along the lines of quality not being quite so important to them, or that they don’t believe in contributing to the community. Heck, at some point, we were even told by the other side that it was their belief that we should work for free, damn it. Do you dig what I am saying? You know, one cannot even be sure it’s an age thing, maybe it’s just a matter of having experience; either way, we are no longer naïve.

A few months ago we attended a conference. It was called DrupalCon. We sat listening to some lecture – I don’t even remember what the title was, or whether it was good or bad, but I remember the speaker saying something, and then somebody we knew who was sitting in our row placing head in hands and mumbling a response under his breath. I guess those sitting next to him did not hear what he had said, or perhaps they chose to ignore it, but we pick up his words. And suddenly we felt a scratch in the heart – and not only because he had said precisely – but I mean precisely – what we were thinking, but because of how he had said it. It wasn’t anything malicious, but he also didn’t try beat about the bush. It’s called being sincere.
You must agree that it is far more complicated than it seems.

Remember when for the first time at age 16 you discovered that somebody loves the band you love most, that band nobody had heard of? And the two of you land up talking about it for hours on end, not losing your enthusiasm for moment. And suddenly twenty years go by – and now there really is hardly anybody who has heard of that particular band – but you and the other guy are still best friends. That is exactly what I am talking about; that is the partnership I am thinking of. When I read some boring article on the Internet about two companies having a “strong partnership”, I always ask myself whether it’s for real. Did they really take a moment to ponder the word “strong” and its meaning before writing it? Two big executives sitting and counting them big o’bucks while their workers don’t see their families because they are buckling under at work – this is hardly what I am talking about.

My “strong partnership” means to going bowling together and laughing even when you lose. My “strong partnership” means I will show you my patch if you show me yours, and telling each other things without any malice but also without any embellishment when it is necessary to improve something. And don’t think for a moment that we are not drowning with work ourselves, but still and all, at six thirty in the evening we are back home with our families.
You must agree that is far more complicated than it seems.

These are exciting times – we were given the opportunity to become partners, real partners, with Commerce Guys and take pleasure from their work, and, alternately, give of our knowledge and manpower in order to promote Drupal’s commerce solutions. And in a few months from now, at the next conference, after we present and brag about all we’ve done together, Fred will invite us out to bowling once again, and this time – and to hell with the partnership – this time Gizra is going to win!