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Why did Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) collapse, and what governance lessons does its sorry tale teach us?

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in March 2023 was a devastating event that has sent shockwaves through the banking industry.

After Silicon Valley Bank failed so quickly, it has become clear that many banking institutions must strengthen their corporate governance practices.

Here, we explore what led to Silicon Valley Bank’s demise, why it happened, and how other boards at financial institutions can strengthen their corporate governance structures to avoid such a disaster.

Why did Silicon Valley Bank fail? 

The sudden collapse of Silicon Valley Bank came on the heels of a frantic 48-hour period during which customers rapidly withdrew their deposits.

However, the actual cause of SVB’s downfall can be traced to decisions made several years earlier. 

SVB, like many other financial institutions, invested heavily in US government bonds amidst an environment of near-zero interest rates.

What initially seemed like a secure investment quickly turned sour when the Federal Reserve ramped up its interest rate hikes to curb rising inflation. 

This increase in interest rates caused bond prices to plummet, eroding the value of SVB’s assets.

Concurrently, the Fed’s aggressive rate hikes drove up borrowing costs, forcing tech startups to redirect more of their capital to debt repayment.

These startups needed help to secure new venture capital funding, leading them to tap into their deposits held by SVB.

Ultimately, this confluence of factors spelt disaster for the once-thriving $212 billion tech lender.

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Corporate governance structures in banks – how are they regulated?

Corporate governance structures in banks play a critical role in maintaining transparency, promoting ethical conduct, and ensuring the effective functioning of these institutions.

These structures typically comprise a board of directors, who oversee the company’s strategic decision-making and hold the senior management accountable for their actions.

Regulatory bodies across the globe, such as the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) in the United States and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom, are responsible for enforcing and monitoring these governance structures.

The regulators establish rules and guidelines to fortify banks’ financial resilience and stability while safeguarding stakeholders’ interests.

Furthermore, banks must comply with stringent reporting and disclosure standards to foster trust among investors, depositors, and clients.

This ensures that corporate governance structures in banks remain efficient, effective, and up-to-date.

How to strengthen corporate governance in banks like Silicon Valley Bank

Strong corporate governance in the banking sector is crucial to maintaining financial stability and fostering public trust.

As a result, banks worldwide continuously seek to improve their governance practices.

One key focus area to enhance governance-related measures is promoting a strong risk culture.

This involves adopting a proactive risk management approach, including robust risk assessments, clear responsibilities, and comprehensive mitigation strategies.

It is now clear that Silicon Valley Bank needed robust risk management strategies in place. It didn’t.

The role of the board of directors in managing risks is vital. These individuals must possess the appropriate expertise and exercise decision-making independence to act in the best interest of stakeholders.

Implementing transparent disclosure mechanisms is another essential element to improve the integrity of the banking industry.

By effectively sharing information, banks can keep stakeholders well-informed and governments better equipped to supervise the sector.

Good risk management could have saved Silicon Valley Bank

Following the collapse of SVB (and the threats posed to other US banks), the importance of strong corporate governance in the banking sector has become increasingly evident.

Financial organisations worldwide have acknowledged the need for effective risk management measures.

By identifying, assessing, and addressing potential risks, banks protect themselves and contribute to the stability and overall health of the entire financial system.

One of the critical components of robust risk management in banking is implementing an enterprise risk management (ERM) framework.

This provides a comprehensive approach to managing risks across various business operations.

• Fostering a culture of risk awareness within the organisation.

How to strengthen governance in banking

The necessity for robust corporate governance in banking has never been more critical. 

Financial institutions are grappling with increasingly complex risk management challenges and the demand for transparent information to instil confidence in their stakeholders.

Disclosures and reporting requirements are essential in achieving this as they promote transparency and pave the way for informed decision-making for investors, regulators, and management.

Banking regulators often establish mandatory disclosure requirements, compelling financial institutions to disclose specific information. 

This includes information about their financial health, risk exposures, and corporate governance activities.

These disclosures help monitor and control the potential risks associated with banking activities. 

They also encourage accountability and ethical behaviour among the management and the board.

The board at Silicon Valley Bank wasn’t strong enough

Just one member of Silicon Valley Bank’s board of directors had a career in investment banking.

Federal authorities investigated the board after it failed to prevent the bank from going under.

Remember, the board of directors is responsible for shaping a bank’s strategic direction but is also entrusted with the critical task of providing essential oversight to the management.

A well-constituted board, comprising members with different skills, expertise, and backgrounds, offers various perspectives.

A strong board also adds tremendous value to the decision-making process.

Furthermore, the board is expected to guide the organisation in establishing and adhering to ethical standards.

This guidance demonstrates a solid commitment to long-term sustainability and fostering a culture of transparency and accountability.

Impact of corporate governance on financial stability 

The impact of corporate governance on financial stability cannot be overstated, as it plays a pivotal role in ensuring any organisation’s sustainable growth and development.

For example, the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank could have been prevented because there were several red flags surrounding the governance ecosystem at SVB.

Remember, effective corporate governance mechanisms provide a solid foundation for businesses to make responsible and strategic decisions that uphold the interests of shareholders, employees, and other stakeholders.

By facilitating a strong system of checks and balances, corporate governance enhances transparency, boosts investor confidence, and ultimately contributes to the overall stability of financial markets.

Study corporate governance

A great board director needs to have more than just a working knowledge of the industry they oversee. They need the practical insight and skillset to stay ahead in an ever-changing world.

Focusing on developing a global mindset and understanding finance and corporate governance processes can propel you into being an asset for any boardroom.

Get these skills and more as part of the Corporate Governance Institute’s Diploma in Corporate governance. Find out more today and download the course brochure below. 

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Beyond The Lollipop: Why Bank Branches Matter In The Mobile Economy

As banks incorporate FinTech to satisfy consumer preferences for convenience and speed, they need to remember that customer relationships also depend on great experiences in branch offices.

FinTech is red hot both for banks and the outsiders seeking to disrupt traditional banking models. While banks are setting up their own programs and use and manage Fintechs, FinTech startups are continuing to attract venture capital interest to the tune of $5.4 billion in the first quarter of 2023 alone.

The popular storyline about nimble non-bank startups capturing hearts and minds with singular, focused digital applications might make for compelling copy, but it’s proving to be more fairy tale than nonfiction.

Despite pronouncements of doom, the facts tell a very different story. Financial services just had its most prolific quarter ever, as industry profits soared 28 percent during the first quarter of 2023 to $56 billion. While there has indeed been a tremendous shift in spend — arcing heavily toward digital development — recent surveys have shown that banks’ physical locations, and the person-to-person relationships formed there, are crucial in generating new business. Those locations affect which banks customers choose, where they establish credit and get mortgages, how they pay off debt like student loans, and how they make significant long-term investment decisions such as the decumulation of wealth.

Rather than being the predicted millstone, branches have continued to help banks retain relationships — in spite of the influx of new digital experiences. According to a recent Celent report, “the majority of US adults (55 percent) prefer in-person interactions with their bank when a conversation is needed.”

Welcome News for Banks as New Branch Strategies Unfold

Personal connectivity also seems to matter more to millennials — now aged 22 to 37 — than one might have expected. Customers are seeking out authenticity and empathy, which new technologies alone can never deliver. A recent global study of 15,000 financial consumers by PwC suggests a growing disconnect between financial brands and customers around their ability to deliver a personal customer experience purely through digital. While “speed, convenience, consistency, and friendliness are key to good customer experiences, there is one big connector to them all: human touch,” the study states.

Today, deployment and adoption of personalized in-branch technologies are in their early stages. Banks should be looking to strategies like customer identification that integrate with their digital presence to take their strategy to the next level, and work in conjunction with their compliance teams to identify new policies for testing emerging tech.

Creating Personalized Customer Experiences

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While emerging technologies enable new ways for customers to reach out for “human reassurance,” it must be recognized that they are not close to mirroring basic levels of human empathy. This is where technology partnerships become critical. Integrating “human connection points” will benefit banks as they implement their technology workflows more deeply into their branch (and call center) operations in order to build trust. These technologies will provide the catalyst for a service blend that is increasingly digital, but far more integrated with banking’s best asset: its employees.

Key Opportunities: A Tethered Human + Digital Branch Future

Physical conversations — especially those taking places in bank branches — matter. How do we create opportunities that leverage the latest technology to create more effective in-person interactions with our customers? Here are some examples that banks are deploying today.

The use of beacons to connect brick-and-mortar locations to customers’ mobile phones to highlight particular services, remind them of Wi-Fi spots and charging stations for their devices within the branch, and further personalize messages designed to spark conversations — making personalized assistance offers related to recent transactions or events as detected in customer data.

Providing proactive prompts for branch team members regarding the particular reasons for a customer’s visit, or prompts to the customer to answer simple questions through a mobile app, accelerating identification of their intentions and facilitating personalized discussions.

Customizing the bank’s mobile applications to provide easy, simple scheduling and check-ins for branch visits. (Less than one in five banks offer digital appointment booking today.)

Connecting external and internal signage to acknowledge customers by name as they check in to a bank location, personalizing their visit and ensuring that bank employees know not just who is visiting their branch but why.

Using smart screens, bankers are now delivering personalized presentations, leveraging aggregated financial data collected through online and mobile customer applications — pointing out ways that the bank can further optimize the customer’s financial life. This provides the internal team of experts, those specializing in services like mortgages, other credit or investment products, to enter into the dialogue during these meetings — in the quest to make the relationship more than transactional.

The Future Model of Financial Services Revolves Around Building Intimacy

There’s something that happens when you look someone in the eye. Trust develops, people learn about one another, and shared meaning and intimacy develops. This isn’t something that can be done with a chatbot or digital banking application today.

The combination of human and digital is truly the future banking model as it continues to develop. As banking’s customer experiences evolve, it will take a mixture of arts, crafts and critically chosen partnerships to deliver exceptional intersectional experiences that combine human and digital assets.

Many financial brands may fail to recognize the critical nature of blending human experiences that build deeper intimacy with their integrated technology going forward. This would be shortsighted at best, and critical to their existence at worst.

Looking for more exciting technology for the finance world? Explore our full line of FinTech solutions.

200+ Stardew Valley Farm Names

Stardew Valley is an open-ended role-playing game.

Your new life begins with a few tools and coins.

Your goal is to restore Stardew Valley and turn it into a thriving farm.

When you start the game, you need to choose a farm name.

However, coming up with a good farm name can be difficult.

This list contains 200+ funny, cute, and best Stardew Valley farm names and ideas that you can use for your farm.

Can you change your Stardew Valley farm name?

Technically, you cannot change your Stardew Valley farm name after you’ve chosen it.

There isn’t a feature in the game that allows you to do so.

However, you can modify the game’s files to change your farm name.

To do so, you need to open the file location for Stardew Valley.

The file can also be located in the Roaming folder.

Stardew Valley farm names

Home Valley

Ram Ranch

Rustic Farm

The Red Barn

Product of Nature

Urban Dairy

Man Versus Farm

Eat Your Vegetables

Wild Lodge

Mega Farm

City Farm

Economical Crops

Green Ville

Pacific Farm

Vertical Farm

The Forbidden Fruit

Green Circle

Fresh Veggies

Cactus Sunrise

Tech Farm

Hay Lodge

Fresh Sprouts

Family Farm

Health Farm

Decent Agriculture

Live Fresh Farm

Daisy Farm

Country Harvest

Sprout Land

Green Current

Blue Orchards

Summer Ranch

Evergreen Land

Economy Farm

Community Farm

Wave Hill

My Little Farm

Sky Greens

Adventure Farm

Fruit Cabin

Country Bumpkin

Hillbilly Lodge

Country Alley

Diamond Mountain

Ace Ranch

Apricot Lane

Honey Farm

Home Grown

Martian Vineyard

Summer Valley

Green Paradise

Green House

The Grove

Farming Under Pressure

The Black Market

Sunshine Wonderland

Rough Terrain

Cattle Landscape

Sheep Horizon

Country Folk

Lavender Grove

Blooming Farm

Fair Oaks

Willow Peak

River Watch

Christmas Farm

Green Dealer

Bay Farm

Wood Grain

Good Note

The Berry Farm

Friend of the Farm

King Ranch

Proper Agriculture

Ernest Creek

State Farm

Fat Chickens

Happy Acres

Rainbow Berry Farm

Young Farmers

Cabbage Village

Pure Harvest

Surreal Docks

Open Road

Fishing Kingdom

Gentle Breeze

Rose Farm

Mythical Farm

Local Ville

Medium Rare Farm

Strawberry Creek

Organic City

Young Living

Lucky Springs

Misty Valley

Horse Hill

Farm World

No Rats Allowed

Pumpkin Moon

Nature Estate

Starting Beef

Delicious Veggies

Lone Vegan

A Tale of Two Farms

The Patch

Healthy Greens

River Park

Around These Parts

Nature Butcher

The Round-Up

Fresh Produce

Firing Range

Meat Supplies

Meat Dealer

Up in This Farm

Dying Crops

Midnight Sun

River Camp

Arctic Dove

Cattle Farm

Arctic Sturgeon Farm

Sunshine Cabin

The Cow

All Natural Farm

The Farm Studio

Egg Town

The Harvester

Quiet Hills

Tropical Oasis

The Straw Hat

The Scarecrow

Undesirable Vegetation

Simple Produce

Chicken Life

The Great Outdoors

At the Farm

Traditional Farm

Frozen Crops

Nation Farm

Million Dollar Farm

Omnivore Paradise

Ape Farm

Local District

No Man’s Land

The Farm Project

Farmer’s Market

Rustic Cottage

Decent Farm

The Nature Company

Winter Farm

The Mini Barn

Mega Farm

Just a Few Acres

Meat Lovers

Vegetable Land

The Outdoors

Sacred Grounds

Grassy Hills

Intense Nature

Artificial Agriculture

Homegrown Produce

Evergreen City

Breakfast in Barn

The Tree Diagram

Green Essence

Fresh Crops

Delivered Fresh

Fruits of Labor

Good Harvest

One Thousand Acres

Man-made Nature

Cute Stardew Valley farm names

Cabbage Land

Flower Farm

Country Life

Natural Harvest

Lovely Farm

Pretty Land

The Adorable Cabin

Mellow Property

Animal Society

Vegetable Habitat

Modest Farm

Botany Life

Charming Park

Native Farm

Sheep Village

Green Union

Snowy Farm

Sunset Valley

Pretty Plantation


Winter Produce

Sunny Farm

Rainy Lodge

Vast Fields

Mother Nature

Squirrel Land

Fantasy Farm

Animal District

Unicorn Land

Cloudy Farm

Open Space

Real Produce

Happy Farm

Cherry Fields

The Animal Pen

The Lone Farmer

Grassy Aisle

Stable Crops

The Garden of Eden

Exclusive Farm

Cow Party

Nature’s Gathering

The Busy Bee

Cheerful Grounds

Living Things

Farm Life

Hillbilly Hills

Productive Farm


You cannot change your Stardew Valley farm name without modifying the game’s files.

Hence, you need to ensure that you’re satisfied with the name before choosing it.

If you don’t know what name to use, you can use the ones in the list above.

Stardew Valley farm names are not unique because the game is offline.

A good farm name is unique, catchy, and easy to remember.

There are a ton of synonyms for “Farm” that you can use.

You can incorporate words like “Lodge”, “Homestead”, and “Land”.

Any word that is farm-related is sufficient.

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Black Friday Disney Dreamlight Valley Deals 2023

Black Friday Disney Dreamlight Valley Deals 2023

Here’s where to get the best Disney Dreamlight Valley deals Black Friday 2023

Disney Dreamlight Valley will be a major player during the Black Friday 2023 sale.

The game is a TPP life simulator with beloved Disney and Pixar characters.

READ NOW: Black Friday Video Game Deals

Ever wanted to be a friends with Goofy? Well, now you can!

Check out Disney Dreamlight Valley and many more games during this year’s Black Friday!

Top Disney Dreamlight Valley Black Friday Deals

Disney Dreamlight Valley is a very new game. It became available in early access just a few weeks ago and is scheduled for a full release next year in 2023.

The game is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One X/S, Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch. However, if you want to buy some other games than Disney Dreamlight Valley here are just a few stunning gaming deals.

Disney Dreamlight Valley Black Friday Deals

Check back later for more deals.

Disney Dreamlight Valley Gaming PC Black Friday Deals

Do not be fooled by Disney Dreamlight Valley’s cartoon graphics. The visual presentation might be simple, but it is still very pretty. Some players might want to get an upgrade for their PCs.

Your gaming setup is also important to us, so we’ve prepared a list of some of the best gaming PC deals and discounts available for Black Friday 2023.

Where to Find the Best Disney Dreamlight Valley Black Friday Deals

Disney Dreamlight Valley is available on all of the major platforms. It means that if you want to buy the game on a PC you’ll need to do this via Steam. For all the PlayStation players we have a PS Store with the Black Friday sales.

Xbox players will use Microsoft Store, and Nintendo Switch has its own Nintendo Store app available via the Nintendo Switch console. To add to that, we also have a list of some of the best places to look for amazing gaming deals.

Disney Dreamlight Valley Black Friday Sales Shortlist

Why Buy Disney Dreamlight Valley This Black Friday?

Disney Dreamlight Valley is an awesome third-person game based around just living with your friends, meeting new people, and taking care of stuff, but these friends are familiar faces from Disney and Pixar.

It is a game similar to The Sims, Stardew Valley, and such. The game is a lot of fun already, with even more well-known characters on the horizon. Complete quests and build relationships with childhood heroes. A game that is worthy not only for younger gamers but for any Disney fan.

When Will Disney Dreamlight Valley Black Friday Sales Start?

Disney Dreamlight Valley will be a part of Black Friday when it starts on November 25, 2023.

In addition to that, many companies organize Black Week, surrounding Black Friday, or even Black Month which lasts for the whole of November. Make sure to check your local retail stores, and get a head start on the sales, when they go live.

Other Black Friday Video Game Deals in 2023

However, if you’d like to visit some more fictional worlds other than Disney’s there are plenty of games to choose from. See these latest deals for even more discounts. Deals on top of deals.

Related Black Friday Game Pages

If you haven’t got enough deals already, here are some more! Only the best games and gaming genres available in 2023. Check out our pages full of great deals and discounts below.

Disney Dreamlight Valley Black Friday Deals FAQs

Here are some FAQs pertaining to Disney Dreamlight Valley

Will Disney Dreamlight Valley Have a Black Friday Sale?

Yes. Disney has one of the biggest fictional worlds, so make sure to check out Black Friday Deals for Disney Dreamlight Valley when the sale comes.

Are Disney Dreamlight Valley Deals Any Good?

Yeah. The game is still in early access, but it is very polished and has a lot of content already.

Xiaomi 10,000Mah Power Bank Review

Our Verdict

Perfectly balancing portability with capacity, the Xiaomi power bank’s feature list and specification is also much bigger than you’d expect. Brilliantly designed, the Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank offers extraordinary value. It’s a strong rival to the Zendure A2 in first place in our chart, although the Zendure will prove easier to get hold of in the UK.

Xiaomi‘s 10,000mAh Power Bank is one of the best we’ve seen, and not just in a long time – ever. Oozing style with an elegant and highly portable aluminium-alloy design, the Xiaomi packs useful capacity and still represents extraordinary value. Find out more in our Xiaomi power bank review. Also see:  Best power banks.

When we first took the Xiaomi power bank out of its box we were confused. As is standard with Xiaomi products, all the writing on the box and in the supplied quick setup guide was in Chinese. We thought we were getting a 10,000mAh power bank, yet this thing is closer in size to the 6,000mAh Zendure A2 that previously topped our best power banks group test. 

And, indeed, the specs mentioned something about 6250mAh. But we hadn’t been duped. Unlike many other power bank manufacturers we’ve encountered, Xiaomi is completely transparent with the fact that the entire 10,000mAh capacity will not be available to power your phone or tablet. Most power banks will lose between 30- and 35 percent of their battery capacity through heat generated and voltage conversion, so we wouldn’t expect to get any more than 7,000mAh from a 10,000mAh bank.

We think Xiaomi has been somewhat over-cautious with this 6250mAh rating in any case. The hardware inside has been optimised for increased efficiency and durability, which Xiaomi claims is up to 93 percent. We saw two full charges for our Samsung Galaxy S6 (2550mAh battery), and were still able to get a Ulefone BeTouch (also 2550mAh battery) to 75 percent. Also see:  How to improve smartphone battery life. 

This isn’t the only thing Xiaomi has taken extra care over in designing its Xiaomi power bank. The fact that it has managed to squeeze so much power into such a compact 91x60x22mm design (725Wh/L) means this is the first 10,000mAh power bank we’ve seen that we’d happily slip into a pocket rather than a bag. No power bank makes a better compromise between portability and capacity. 

We can’t fault the design and build quality either, and if it weren’t for the Micro-USB- rather than Lightning input and supplied flat white cable, the Xiaomi would look right at home in an Apple factory. Also see: Xiaomi Mi Band review and Xiaomi Wireless GamePad review.  

Available in silver, gold or rose anodised aluminium alloy, the Xiaomi power bank is CNC-milled with what the company claims is MacBook Pro-standard surface processing. This elegantly curved chassis features a sweatproof and anti-corrosion surface and although no carry case is provided (we’ve found silicone cases available to buy on Amazon for £5.79), you’re unlikely to need one – the Xiaomi power bank is shatterproof and resistant to collision. Also see:  Best desktop chargers 2024. 

The safeguards extends to the Texas Instruments/MPS-designed circuitry inside, and the smart-control chips feature nine layers of protection, covering everything from temperature resistance and short-circuit protection to input- and output overvoltage. The indented power button at one end can also act as a reset button when required, for the power bank itself will automatically begin charging when you attach a phone or tablet.  Also see: Best MiFi 2024.

With a single USB output you’ll be able to charge your phone or tablet, rather than both at once, but this helps to keep down size. Plus we like the fact the Xiaomi supports passthrough charging, which means you can charge both it and an attached device at once. Also see:  How to charge your phone or tablet faster.  

With a 10W Micro-USB input, using a similarly specified mains adaptor you should be able to refill the Xiaomi in roughly 5.5 hours. The USB output is also well specified, fast at 10.5W and offering automatic power adjustment to suit the attached device. 

In terms of value, the Xiaomi power bank is unbeatable, and you’ll pay twice the price for most 10,000mAh power banks. Xiaomi power banks are available to buy in the UK, for example through Amazon for £14.66, but Geekbuying offers a much cheaper deal at £11.56 with free shipping. Also see:

(Other Xiaomi products aren’t as easy to get hold of in the UK – see How to buy Xiaomi products in the UK.) 

Follow Marie Brewis on  Twitter. 

Specs Xiaomi 10,000mAh Power Bank: Specs

10,000mAh lithium-ion power bank

1x 10W (5V, 2A) Micro-USB input (charges in 5.5 hours with 10W adaptor)

1x 10.5W (5V, 2.1A) USB output

passthrough charging


flat white USB- to Micro-USB cable provided

nine layers of protection

no LED torch

no carry case (silicon protection cases are available)



Ubuntu: Where Did The Love Go?

When Ubuntu first appeared, the free and open source software (FOSS) community was delighted. Suddenly, here was a distribution with the definite goal of usability, headed by a former space tourist who not only understood computer programming but had the money to throw at problems.

The only objections were that Ubuntu was ripping off Debian, the source of most of its packages. For everyone else, Ubuntu and its parent company Canonical seemed everything FOSS had been waiting for.

Now, in 2011, that honeymoon is long past. Although Ubuntu remains the dominant distro, criticisms of its relationship with the rest of FOSS seem to be coming every other month.

What happened? Ubuntu supporters sometimes dismiss the change as jealousy of Ubuntu’s success.

But, although that may be an element, the change in attitude is probably due chiefly to the gap between the expectations created by Ubuntu and Canonical in their early days and their increasing tendency to focus on commercial concerns.

Instead of being the model corporate member of the community that it first appeared, today Ubuntu/ Canonical increasingly seems concerned with its own interests rather than those of FOSS as a whole. No doubt there are sound business reasons for the change, but many interpret it as proof of hypocrisy. Added to the suspicion towards the corporate world that lingers in many parts of the FOSS community, the change looks damning, especially when it is so clearly documented in Canonical’s corporate history.

A Brief History of Canonical and Ubuntu

After Ubuntu’s first release in October 2004, Ubuntu/Canonical seemed in many ways a model FOSS entity. Nor was there much reason to doubt that initial sincerity. Shuttleworth, in particular, who was then the main speaker for both Ubuntu and Canonical, made considerable efforts to express support for other aspects of FOSS.

For example, Shuttleworth emphasized that “we all win, when Red Hat has a win.” He made a special point of attending DebConf, Debian’s annual conference, and of insisting that “Every Debian developer is also an Ubuntu developer” at a time when relations between Debian and Ubuntu were strained.

However, even in the first years there were signs of isolationism. Ubuntu/

Canonical insisted on using the proprietaryLaunchpad for development rather than existing free tools. Launchpad components did not begin to be released under free licenses until 2007, and the entire code was only released under the Affero GNU General Public License in 2009.

Similarly, in November 2006, Shuttleworth himself created controversy when he invited openSUSE developers to join Ubuntu. Although Shuttleworth later claimed that the offer was a response to Microsoft and Novell’s cooperative agreements (Novell being openSUSE’s corporate sponsor), it was widely condemned as an effort at corporate raiding unprecedented in the FOSS world, and Shuttleworth apologized a few days later.

However, the real turning point in Ubuntu/ Canonical policy appears to have been Shuttleworth’s failure to convince other FOSS projects to coordinate their release cycles.

Shuttleworth first made the case in December 2006 that “it would be nice at the beginning of an Ubuntu release cycle to have a really confident picture of which projects will produce stable releases during those few months when we can incorporate new upstream versions. It would be even better if, during the release cycle, we knew immediately if there was a *change* in what was going to be released.”

The FOSS response, though, showed a distinct lack of interest. Many, including KDE’s Aaron Seigo, saw the suggestion as squeezing projects into a uniformity that might not fit their needs.

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