The TerminusDB Values

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years (which, if you have, fair play to you, 2020 isn’t really shaping up to be the best as far as years go) – chances are that you’ve heard the term ‘company values.’ Just do a Google search and you will find literally thousands of articles stating the importance of core company values - how they help shape culture, how they help people understand your company, how they help improve communication – the list is endless.

Company values act as guidelines - a framework for decision making - and while they’ve always been important, one could perhaps make a case for how crucial they are especially during challenging times – such as the current pandemic. Almost overnight, thousands of companies were forced to make decisions that would have long-term impacts on their business. One of the most important things to guide such decisions are the company values. However, funnily enough, it is during challenging times that values are most overlooked.

Every company has values, but there are one too many examples of companies that tout values that they don’t practice – this is true for even when the company’s doing great and the world isn’t ending. Too often, values tend to become mere words that no longer hold much meaning. The entire point of values, however, is that they must be actionable, and most importantly, that they hold one accountable.

At TerminusDB, it’s taken us a while to put our values out to the world. We took a long, hard look at how we’ve worked over the years, how we want to continue to work, the culture that we’ve created, the people we’ve brought together, and the kind of community we’ve been trying so hard to build. Values aren’t arrived at easily, they take time and go through many iterations – much like with any product – but we do believe that the TerminusDB values espouse who we are as a company, a team, and more importantly, a community.

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We have 3 values – it is after all the magic number! – they are:

Purpose in Unity

At TerminusDB, we believe that we can truly find and have purpose when we are united. This value was inspired by Asabiyya - a concept popularised in the 14th century by Ibn Khaldun inMuqaddimah. Asabiyya is described as the fundamental bond of human society and the basic motive force of history - a bond of cohesion among humans in a group forming community. As time passed, Asabiyya became synonymous with or analogous to social solidarity (read, unity), with particular emphasis on group consciousness, sense of shared purpose, and social cohesion. It is said that Asabiyya is forged in the face of common challenges and collective suffering. TerminusDB has been a nine year labour of love – with suffering and challenges aplenty! We could not have delivered our vision in the absence of unity.

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Great ideas and products are not born in isolation, but in togetherness. We are ever grateful to our team and our community and hope to continue to find purpose in unity.

Open Source

TerminusDB is open source now and forever. There are many commercial database companies that provide an open source version of their software in addition to a more fully-featured commercial enterprise version. We don’t believe this is viable. There are very few examples of companies having successfully built a real community by releasing a watered-down community version of their commercial product.

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Our aim is to build an inclusive, diverse, and genuinely successful open source community – a crucial part of this is giving away our fully featured and complete database engine – there will be no enterprise version – a truly open core model.

We created and continue to improve TerminusDB to make the life of anybody who cares about data easier. Join us on this journey as a user, contributor or enthusiast – or just a friend and supporter! TerminusDB is for everyone; we’re all about love, not money. Come be a part of the best, friendliest and most inclusive Terminator community

Systems Thinking

This value is inspired by Tektology - a term used by Alexander Bogdanov to describe a discipline that consisted of unifying all social, biological and physical sciences by considering them as systems of relationships.

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At TerminusDB, we think it’s important to develop a systems mindset to solve complex problems and continue to create together. This involves a shift in thought from linear to circular, i.e., a recognition that everything is interconnected. There is an emphasis on the whole as opposed to parts, on unity as opposed to isolation – which coincidentally (or maybe not!) are also the very foundations of Asabiyya or Purpose in Unity, and Open Source.

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While they have only recently been put to paper, these values have always been essential to who we are and how we work, and they will continue to shape TerminusDB’s future. They’ve served us well so far, and we think we’ve done them justice too – our work, our team and our Terminator community speaks for that. As always, we’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions, so feel free to pop in and say hi on our Discord server!


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