I was disappointed to see the mention in the Connector today that there would be no SQLRally 2013 in the US. Reading the minutes from the May 2012 Board meeting (and you should read it to do your own interpretation) it feels like the decision was made largely on two points – Rally was not a profit center (was never intended to be if you go back to the beginning of the concept) and it consumed too much of HQ resources. It also feels like it’s not going to return in the US, it will be an international brand only.
There seems to be some thought of doing a “Super SQLSaturday” and maybe that is better than nothing, but is it better than a real Rally? Why wouldn’t we just do Super SQLSaturday everywhere, why keep the Rally brand at all?
In the end I feel like Rally died due to the lack of Board involvement. Maybe that’s not fair, but it feels that way to me. No one took over when I wanted to hand off at the end of the Orlando Rally, and from the outside as far as I could tell no one took on the Dallas effort or planning for 2013 (which should have been going on in January). That’s not to take anything away from the efforts of Team Dallas, I thought they collectively did a great job. But that is a tactical focus, the Board could have been working through the core issues they referenced in reaching their decision earlier this month.
Deciding how much time and money to spend on various things is hard. Sometimes you make business decisions, sometimes you don’t – that’s the nature of a non profit, but I’ve always felt like PASS tilted too far towards business. Without being in the room it’s hard to know all the factors they weighed, they may well have made the right decision. It just doesn’t feel that way.
Finally, I want to repeat something I told my friend Tom LaRock a few weeks ago:
PASS has something every non-profit dreams about,a consistent and effective fund raiser (the Summit). That funding gives you the ability to do great things,to make a difference, to spend on things that won’t generate a profit. Don’t waste the chance to do good, don’t be the non-profit that has fund raisers to finance the next fund raiser.
Funding SQLRally seemed like a pretty good thing to do.