Increase ROI For Newcomers

ROI (Return on Investment) is defined as (gain - cost) / cost. In the picture above, you can see ROI (z-axis) in dependency of cost (y-axis) and gain (x-axis). As you can see, if the cost remains high, high gain is nullified. So promising a high gain without keeping cost low is a lost game.

You may think that ROI considerations is something reserved only to (large) companies or management exercises, but it's not. Every person does this "what do I get for my investment" game. Even though it may be often an unconscious or intuitive judgement.

What does this mean for the Perl world? The same as for any other world: Lower the cost! and high gain at high cost is irrelevant. Same as a chip manufacturer simply doesn't throw bare chips and the floor hoping that some customer will pick them up and adopt them. Today you get SDKs (and the better the SDK, the more chances your product has), reference designs, support etc. to make sure your adopting of a new technology is as painless as possible.

Implications for various Perl Projects

Perl5: Installation/deployment experience must be short and positive. Always! Most of the time you don't get a second chance. If you "burn" a potentional user he will not try again for a long time.
If you manage that, the user must have success as quick as possible. So ask yourself "What do people want?" What is necessary to offer to help them achieve this? Searching in heaps of cruft is certainly no activity every new user longs for.

Perl6: Do not strive for the best of all programming languages, in every universe, ever and godsend ... without ... striving for extreme ease of learning, transition and available resources. In other words: The language will not by adopted by many, if there will be too big entry barriers. Yes, preferably an easy installation package, an IDE, easy documentation as well as a converter (preferably Perl5 to Perl6) should be in place if you hope to attract users to Perl6.

Topic revision: r3 - 09 Apr 2013, AdminUser