Plausible Promise

Term from Eric Raymond's Cathedral And The Bazaar. When you start community-building, what you need to be able to present is a plausible promise. Your program doesn't have to work particularly well. It can be crude, buggy, incomplete, and poorly documented. What it must not fail to do is (a) run, and (b) convince potential co-developers that it can be evolved into something really neat in the foreseeable future.

Then used in Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody: Promise, Tool, Bargain.

Used by John Robb in recognizing the diverse Coalitions successful in Open Source Warfare.

cf Theory of Change

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