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Re: [Debconf-team] Victorious March

Please accept my deepest apologies regarding this last email, I really
have no idea why I wrote what I wrote, we (Hydroxide, moray and I) were
having this discussion, and I completely misunderstood moray

I completely misunderstood what he was trying to say, wrote this email
in complete emotional charge, please please disregard this email since
it won't be removed.

I deeply apologize for what I have wrote.


On 02/26/2010 09:22 PM, Adnan Hodzic wrote:
> Victorious March - Adnan Hodzic
> Some of the members are asking questions, some of them are raising even
> suspicion, some of them are raising their eyebrows, some of them even
> envy, after all this is Bosnia and Herzegovina. It's a ridicule, how can
> they have such a good bid! I'm being completely objective when I say
> this, but this is probably the most successful bid when it comes from
> technical arguments over wiki page to even the financial support.
> In this document I'll explain my whole strategy and tactics what I did
> to get DebConf into my country.
> Who da fsck is Adnan?
> I won't tell you my life story, since it's too long for this paper and
> I'm planning to write a book about it one day. I'm currently only 24,
> but during these years I think I lived at least 3 times some of you
> never will, this is literally my second life and I'm going to use it the
> best way possible :)
> Except for those few that really know me, in my nature, I'm really
> binary, whatever I do I'm either 1 or 0, either I'm doing it, or I'm not
> even going to start working on it. Those that know me will know that I'm
> a perfectionists to the core, when I show dedication I show it to the
> fullest. So put simple, I'm either hardcore in what I do, or I won't
> even start doing it at all. Even though there's no much records of it
> right now, my biggest “success” so far my free (community based) web
> hosting, whose slogan was “The best web hosting experience” and it
> wasn't like that to feed my ego or anything, it was like that because I
> really believed in what I'm doing, “neglecting” everything around me.
> Deep inside of me I really wanted for Google or some other company like
> that to buy it all, but this never happened, in the end I was only
> 18-ish years old and too naïve for anything. When I saw people (at the
> time) are just too blind to catch up on the whole idea behind it all,
> and when I decided that I wanted to get my bachelors degree I just
> killed it. Why? I could have easily go to university and do that as well
> … true, but that wouldn't be that, I wouldn't be 100% committed.
> It's really like that with most of the things in my life, I'm trying
> find “middle ground” all my life, not 1 or 0 but 0.5, but so far I
> didn't find it, maybe in the end this is why I'm supposed to operate.
> DebConf11 anyone?
> Well DebConf9 date was coming near, and I remember I had to make
> decision if I'm even going to candidate my country for DebConf11, reason
> I was so reluctant in beginning because I wasn't sure if I'll commit to
> this project 100%.
> I used to do this as a young boy as well, I would just observe what
> elderly would do an what they would talk about, never interrupting just
> acquiring all that new knowledge. So all I did in this period was
> observe and watch the videos from previous DebConf
> proceedings/candidatures, and this way I would record “mistakes” and
> this is where I learned the most from.
> I also must admit that my “tutor” and “spiritual leader” that is someone
> I could look up to when it comes to DebConf was really Jimmy Kaplowitz
> (DC10 NYC - Team/bid leader), even though I never told him this
> directly, I was really looking up to him. Also many of these videos were
> seen couple of times, now just once; and yes I think every future bid
> leader should see as much material as possible and find a person which
> he's going to look up to. Possibly try to find a winner, since those are
> usually good role models :)
> Even though I was team member with Sarajevo DebConf7 bid, I must admit
> that this period was when I learned the most about our own bid! Maybe it
> was because I was looking at it, couple of years later with completely
> different “eye sight” or I was looking at it from different level but
> this almost seemed completely new to me, and this is when I realized all
> our mistakes.
> To be honest our first bid (Sarajevo DebConf7 bid) was incredibly poor
> bid, our whole strategy was that we are this poor country and that we
> can have the same conference organized with much lower cost. Whole
> vision was very wrong, and I remember when I saw “Terme Hotel” which is
> all that's left of videos for Sarajevo bid I literally laughed. I'm
> Bosnian, but I really have no idea how we were planning to win against
> bid as strong as it was for Edinburgh.
> I guess, at the second time I was looking at this whole bid with
> different “eye sight” since I traveled pretty a lot since then and seen
> other perspectives and options. This was a switch that did it for me,
> and point where I said “We (Bosnia) are in” :)
> Play by the rules
> After everything I saw, my initial sole strategy wasn't much, except it
> started with “failure is not an option”. To be honest I had no idea how
> I was planning to get this bid, my plan was just to solve problems as
> they came along, since at that point I couldn't make any long term
> plans, except one was sure, get government/local support, get money, do
> completely opposite of what was done with DC7 Sarajevo bid! I must say I
> wanted a lot things changed during first bid, I just did have enough
> integrity to make my voice loud enough.
> So my plan was to play by the rules, do everything in its order, create
> wiki page, give a speech and see how it goes later on. I came to Cáceres
> (DebConf9) without anything literally, no wiki page, no venue no team no
> nothing. Only two guys besides me in the team were Velimir (change) and
> Safir (sapphire), to my disappointment Germans had a very nice looking
> wiki +  after US Germans had the most Debian Developers in the whole
> wide world!
> At this point I thought our team is here just to “show up”, show some
> competition end up slayed by Germans and that's it, at this point I just
> wanted to give up, my last traces of hope were gone. But there was a
> problem with that option, when I started this battle I told myself
> “failure is not an option”, and last person I want to disappoint in this
> world is definitely myself. Chances of success were … well none really,
> but this is what give me the strength and my new strategy was just …
> hardcore?  All I had in my head was never back down and perseverance!
> With eyes of a complete lunatic I started working on something, goals
> what needs to be done where clear, make wiki page based on PriorityList
> even tho you don't even have a city, not to mention venue, oh yea don't
> forget to do the speech ;)
> Velimir (who was in Vienna) and I (who was in Cáceres) started working
> on wiki page, along came Safir. As I remembered from DebConf10 candidate
> speech, what US team did was they nominated 3 largest/open source-ish
> cities in the US, so that's what we did, nominated 4 largest cities in
> Bosnia, Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla (my hometown) and Mostar. I
> nominated Mostar just to be politically correct really. Once that was
> done, I figured out, that we'll have to figure out/imagine venue and
> make it feasible as possible.
> Since Sarajevo seemed as best option, and since I have pretty good
> knowledge of Sarajevo, I remembered from DC7 bid that student dormitory
> “Dom Nedjarici” was a proposed, but back then Radon Plaza wasn't built
> yet, so what I did was I asked for info from Sarajevo colleagues and I
> even sent my sister to take pictures of possible venues in Tuzla. At
> this time, Banja Luka went into completely different plan, now main
> options were Sarajevo, and as backup plan I used Tuzla.
> It's important that at this time, you don't think about big team, you
> surround yourself with couple of people, but people you know you can
> rely on, instead of seeking mass acceptance and support. This is one of
> the most important step, to surround yourself with as much “good” men
> who are highly capable, and don't waste one atom on those who slack or
> don't have the clear goal set in their life.
> Once I got all the information for “Dom Nedjarici” and “Radon Plaza” I
> started making the venue, we would use dormitory for sleeping and
> possibly one hacklab while “Radon Plaza” would be used as venue + other
> hacklab and place where we would have speeches.
> Again, don't forget “Radon Plaza” is A class hotel, which costs money,
> but remember my strategy was completely opposite then DC7 strategy, my
> new strategy was to go high profile and don't you dare to settle with
> second best. That is, show them some of the best things your country has
> to offer! These things cost money, but don't propose something if you
> don't think it can be done, for example I knew “Radon Plaza” was
> property or “mag” who owned “Avaz” and who just started off as
> politician, so he would probably because of the people like to sponsor
> this event, at least to some extent, this extent depends on you, that is
> how well you can explain what it is and convince him to sponsor it :) Of
> course, aim for politicians, since this is great “media” for them, and
> as much as you can have from it, so can they.
> Present your bid in best possible way
> Presentation is very important, so whatever it's the wiki pictures or
> presentation itself try to find only the best images available, you can
> really have the best wiki page, but without any pictures … it's most
> likely that it wont catch as much as attention like … *oooh what is
> that!? Yes, what primitive creatures we are.
> At this time, we were going somewhere with the wiki page, but didn't
> have presentation, or speech ready, even thought of using wiki page on
> my speech, since I saw Venezuela doing it, but then I thought, but they
> didn't win + you know that's not the way to go, at least this way you
> won't show the best you have.
> Screw it, we'll make the presentation, I remember I didn't sleep much on
> DC9, on numerous ocassions I was the only person left in hacklab, even
> missed the daytrip, all it was for me was pretty much work, even
> “spontaneously passed” out couple of times :)  - http://bit.ly/aXIEkE
> Also, do NOT assemble your time right away, I didn't assemble team until
> the last minute, because first time we assembled this huge team, half of
> the team never did anything for the actual bid, they were there just to
> be on the list for reference or whatever.
> Either way, day before speech Eddy Petrisor (even before Debian, I know
> him from Wormux project few years ago) approached me and started giving
> me tips, besides him many gave me tips, listen to everybody, but wisely,
> you might think everybody is against you, but if you know how to
> recognize it, there's really a lot of people that want to help out,
> especially in Debian.
> Speech day came, Eddy and I practiced the speech using the stopwatch,
> even tho I felt completely idiotic doing this, but it's only later on
> that I found out how good it was that I listened to his advice! Test
> everything (presentation) is working fine,  and test it couple of times!
> I remember going out to smoke a cigarette to calm down (even tho I
> stopped smoking) and as I was smoking that cigarette I saw whole crowd
> of Germans working on something, and at that point it struck me … one
> hour before the actual speech 20+ of them are working on the
> presentation. Thus the talk about the team, at one point, size of the
> time can only be a handicap, on the other side we had clear vision with
> just couple of guys working on it.
> Speech ended, I was more of then happy how it went -
> http://meetings-archive.debian.net/pub/debian-meetings/2009/debconf9/high/993_DebConf_11_in_your_city.ogv
> Meetings and Gatherings
> Upon on my arrival from DebConf9 I only gained a lot more strenght!
> (DebConf9 summary - http://foolcontrol.org/?p=623) Slowly but surely I
> was getting a lot more of attention, I wrote DebConf9 summary in INFO
> Magazine, spread the news around my university and so on.
> It remember I having set up the meeting with Banja Luka mayor to explain
> him what it's all about, since in the meantime I talked to my old Banja
> Luka LUGBIH contacts, my web of colleagues was only growing. I was
> waiting that meeting with Banja Luka mayor for almost 1 month, and I
> remember meeting up with Adnan Sadzak and discussing plans about having
> DebConf11 in Tuzla. Either way we gathered up, on our mailing list I
> called upon meeting in Sarajevo. Even got in some contacts from various
> political parties, one the Sarajevo team members father was member of
> govt. council.
> We meet up in Sarajevo and then story just … goes the wrong way. To make
> a short summary of what went wrong well it's like this, my original plan
> of Venue “Radon Plaza” + “Dom Nedjarici” well it didn't go that well. To
> get the “Radon Plaza” I'd need to convince Faruk Radoncic, guy who owns
> it, and who just started his political party, after that I should talk
> to SDP party that has jurisdiction under “Novo Sarajevo” part of the
> city where “Dom Nedjarici” is, after that we should talk to “minister of
> culture and science” and after that we should talk to SDA which has
> jurisdiction over whole Sarajevo canton.
> After this, I even asked the question, “tell me honestly and be
> objective about it if it's even possible to have this in Sarajevo?”
> Besides that many other things went wrong, we just end the meeting I
> tell them that I finally have the meeting with Banja Luka mayor in two
> days, and to whatever they can in the meantime, I explain pretty much
> everything they need. On our way back, I tell Sadzak this is completely
> failure, I even thing I forgot in which country I live in. Later we
> discuss about having DC11 in Tuzla, since the mayor and the whole
> political scene is open to new ideas and mayor would sponsor us with at
> least 50K. But I tell him, this is even my hometown, it's pretty not
> good place to have DC, since I know this would end up as great option,
> but … make sure you're just objective and don't get attached without no
> reason, no matter how much you love your city, if it's not feasible and
> possible don't go blindly for that option when it can't be realized.
> This time I wanted to just forfeit, and it was definitely the closes to
> giving up. At this time, Germany had already picked München as their
> host. I say I'll just go to that meeting with Banja Luka mayor, after
> that it may not even be worth continuing the fight with Tuzla since
> chances of winning against München would just be too slim.
> Now I explained everything of what happened with mayor meeting in Banja
> Luka in DebConf11 bid in Banja Luka? - http://foolcontrol.org/?p=748
> And that's really how it happened, at this point, I wasn't sure of much,
> I definitely saw that local govt. would be really interested in having
> this event, I knew I'll meet up with prime minister again, when I'll
> propose the venue and the funds we need. I really wasn't sure of
> anything, it was all depending on our second meeting, since at the first
> I saw him all I was sure is that he seemed interested in whole idea.
> In the meantime, all I do is follow the statistics of how much money was
> needed from Edinburgh to NYC, I make a nice paper explaining everything
> I'm about to talk about really, plan my speech with him. And this is
> when I got my first suit for this occasion, and for those that have
> #debconf-team logs find a line starting with:
> Dec 03 00:20:14 <AbsintheSyringe> btw, off to Banja Luka tomorrow, again
> to meet up with prime minister again, and conclude what the venue will be
> This talk is 8 pages long I know since I printed it, and this is when we
> came up with the number I'm going to aim for.
> But why Republika Srpska, why Banja Luka?
> How did I knew that this would be our “loterry combination”, well unlike
> in Federation, Republika Srpska doesn't have boroughs and cantons, which
> means all the money is going directly to Banja Luka. In Federation, all
> the money is first going to Sarajevo, after Sarajevo come other cities
> with SDA in charge, so until money reaches Tuzla with SDP in charge …
> it's all pretty much gone. This is why I also didn't go for Tuzla option …
> In Republika Srpska, Milorad Dodik has been on the “top” for number of
> years, with SNSD on charge, all money going directly to Banja Luka and
> SNSD itself. So even Federation and Sarajevo seem much more stable and
> united, they are really not, and one of the joker cars was Sarajevo vs
> Banja Luka relation since these two are ever lasting competitors :)
> Cards I was planning to show PM on our second meeting, was:
> 1.Explain what Linux is, what Debian is, and what DebConf is
> 2.Who comes to one such event, and what could they have from sponsoring
> one such event
> 3.Contract that was signed with Microsoft would expire one year after
> DC11 would be held
> 4.Convince them to switch to Debian/Custom distro (Croatian government
> is considering this option where they would save ~4 million euros)
> 5.Make Custom Debian distro, thus creating new positions and new staff,
> and generations growing up on open source
> 6.Why should RedHat and definetely Canonical in near future go to
> Belgrade or Zagreb when they can have their support centres in Banja
> Luka, sponsoring this kind of event would only open the “gate” to such
> investitors
> 7.Explain how other governments/military/post offices all over world are
> basing their systems on Linux
> 8.Sell your soul :)
> There was probably other stuff I said and explained, which I can't even
> remember anymore. Reason I pursued PM even more into this idea, is that
> I mentioned American/German/French/Russian government using Linux,
> mentioned that we didn't manage to get Linux into parliament of
> Federation and so on. I just had to explain it all, since I saw I had
> him “biting”, I also saw that we have one great common two of us, and
> that is, when we want something we'll get it. Also, man would do
> anything for his entity to prosper and be successful, he might not be
> doing much for the whole country, but he's doing it for his entity.
> Now, if you are not changing the world and tomorrow, and if he couldn't
> have people like/or Mark Shuttleworth himself (who besides all that he's
> done was even in space), then I really miscalculated myself with who I'm
> having business with. I do understand that this conference may even be
> better then Microsoft conferences, but we deserved it :)
> This is my story of how I got to where I got, I most probably forgot a
> bunch of details, but don't tell me it's easy, or “why would I get so
> much”, I speak for myself when I say this, but in 9 months I dedicated
> my whole life to this bid.
> 1.Finished my semester with pretty low GPA
> 2.Broke up with my girlfriend
> 3.Second semester started and I still haven't showed up in university
> since I'm working on this bid …
> 4.Not mention rarely sleeping these last 9 months
> I'm sacrificing my whole life and then you ask how? Learn from this bid,
> since this as well might be the textbook example of how to get a bid.
> Just dont tell me it was easy, or you're surprised how we got where we
> got, if anything it was only blood and sweat.
> Same goes for our team, we want this, we need this, for other bid
> countries this could be just another “conference”, here we could make
> changes in our whole city infrastructure when it comes to IT.  This
> would be unique opportunity for all of Balkans! After fall of Yugoslavia
> this is one of the things that has truly united us!
> On how it ended up all so smooth for the whole bid … we have a saying in
> Balkans - “luck follows the courageous ones” - I guess this was the case
> with me as well.
> Yes, it may sound incredibly that you're seeing this from country such
> as Bosnia and Herzegovina but if you let us we might even show you
> what's it like to have best organized DebConf, you're all closing doors
> to us, but all we're doing is opening it for you. This was only of a
> glimpse what we can do, I want this country in completely different
> light then you all think of it.
> Let us prove you wrong and let us really show you what this country is.
> Adnan Hodzic aka AbsintheSyringe

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