Being just a lowly programmer, uninvolved in the bigger picture, I barely dare stick my nose in this. But the recent spate of community introspection about Perl's future did make me, in my ignorance, wonder: Does Perl have a business plan?
Such a question may be obscene to some people. But, just like any for-profit business, a lot of people have a lot invested in the Perl product. Even a peon like myself - it would be far preferable for me personally if the many hours invested in developing even my humble level of Perl proficiency (rather than some other potential money-earning knowledge) produced a decent ROI. Far preferable to having it not. I'm sorry if that's not a pure enough motivation, but the kids want food and shelter and iPads and high speed internet so they can watch Indie musicians being broke purists. In the context of the macroeconoimic theory of happiness and light, whether Perl does well in the marketplace of programming options or not doesn't amount to a hill of beans. But in the context of the opportunity cost to those individuals who have invested irreplacable time betting on Perl as one of the languages of their repertoire ('cause few of us are genius enough to learn everything) to earn a living, it matters a great deal.
Perl will produce an ROI for those investors if there is sufficient demand for Perl's product that Perl programming service providers are in demand.
For that to happen, requires all the ingredients of any decent business plan.
First, the product, Perl, must meet the market's needs better than its competitors. The best way to ensure that is real market research, investigating what the businesses that use programming want programs to be able to do, then resource identification and allocation for product development that directly addresses that research.
But the business world is littered with good offerings that still failed to win the market. Even a good product needs a marketing plan as part of the overall business plan. Few people on the production floor fully appreciate the invaluable job the marketing and sales departments do in a company. Without promotion, the best product in the world will go unnoticed, and everyone on the line is out of a job. Every successful product has a sales and marketing machine behind it.
So - for those of us who know nothing about the Perl hierarchy - does Perl have a business plan?