I think there are many different interpretations of what it means to "be a
high-tech organization", which makes it a difficult label to base arguments
around; readers will interpret it very differently depending on their
personal experiences and biases.

One view might concentrate on notions of "innovation", "excellence", or
"return on investment" achieved through super-smart people creating unique
technology -- this view associates "high-tech" with success, competitive
advantage, brand awareness/marketshare, and money (profit for traditional
corporations, or investment in the mission for non-profits).

Another view might concentrate on other features considered common to
"high-tech" companies such as toxic work environments, lack of diversity,
overemphasis on engineering versus other disciplines, disconnection from
users' needs, and a laser-focus on achieving profits at the expense of
long-term thinking. This view associates "high-tech" with social and
economic inequality and exploitation of employees and users for their labor
& attention to the detriment of their physical and emotional health.

And there are many, much subtler connotations to be found in between.

I believe a high-tech organization should invest in smart people creating
unique technology. But I also think it should invest in people, period.
Staff and volunteers must be cultivated and supported -- that's how loyalty
and passion are developed, and I believe they pay dividends in productivity
and recruitment.

Absolutely Wikimedia Foundation needs to build better technologies --
technologies to serve the needs of our editors, our readers, our
photographers, our citation reviewers, etc. This means Wikimedia Foundation
needs a good relationship with those people to research, brainstorm, plan,
develop, test, redevelop, retest, and roll out software successfully. The
people who represent Wikimedia Foundation in those relationships are its
staff, so it's important for management to support them in their work and
help them succeed.

It is my sincere hope that when the current crises are resolved, that the
Board of Trustees and the executive can agree on at least this much as a
shared vision for the Foundation.

-- brion
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