When Jurgen announced his rewards for reviewers:

  • my first reaction was: cool, it might encourage more people to write a book review. (I read tons of books and have only written a few reviews.)
  • My second reaction was: mmm, I don’t believe in external motivation.
  • My third reaction was: ok but there is no guarantee, that you win. And as I wrote earlier, irregular feedback works better.
  • My forth reaction was: I hope someone wins who has already given a review before he announced this.

Tonight Jurgen twittered that I had won the price because I wrote this review. (For the record yes I wrote this months before Jurgen announced his contest. He did not even ask me to add my opinion to amazon)

Update: Another example of why it’s never good to write blogpost late at night and post it without someone re-reading it. (Then why do I edit this after midnight again?)
Let’s make it clear, I am happy that Jurgen did this action. I do accept the price. Thank you Jurgen for that. What this blog post is about, is what will I do with the amazon check.

I’m puzzled what to do with it.

There are a few reasons why I think I should not accept this price, accept the price and give it back to the community.

1) At least once a week I get phonecalls for jobs offers, when I am not interested, these recruiters always ask if I don’t know anybody else who fit the profile. And then they try to bribe me into selling people out. I think this is unethical. When I know a good person that is looking for work, I will forward them the job offer and I don’t want to receive any money for that. Giving money for this is a short term solution. It means that some people will be tempted to give away either names of people they don’t respect, and kill their own reputation. Or they give the names of good people they are now working with (or previous worked with). When these people are not actively looking for work this is distroying a team/company etc. Don’t get me wrong I do forward the jobs to the good people I know are looking for a job. I just don’t like the selling out principle. I do tell the recruiters I am not interested in their money for this kind of unethical acts.

(Update: Let make this clear I think that accepting the money is unethical. I’m not talking about offering the money. I don’t care, that is their responisbility.)

Similar to this, it feels that keeping money for my review makes it less valuable (and the same for all the other reviews I made on amazon or linkedin.)

2) When I was studying, I was living of wellfare. I had about 375 euro a month to live from. The first year I did not even had a computer (kinda hard considering I was  studying IT). For a few years I had the idea that I would like to “sponsor” a few kids that are in the same situation I was. And give them 10 good IT books to get them started. (Books that I wished I had read before I started.) I was thinking about these 19 non IT books or these 10 agile books. Although I think I contacted a friend who works at the local wellfare office, I never started the idea for real. This could be a first step.

For them these 200 dollar wurth of books would make a huge difference.

Reasons to keep it:

I could use the money to buy my wife or my kids some nice books. They are the once that suffer from all my extra curriculum activities (Instead of writing the review(or this blog post), I could have hugged them instead.)
(This is not entirely true as amazon does not sell many Dutch books)

So I turn this into a community thing: do you have any other idea’s what I could do with the amazon gift?
Although I don’t give you a reward  for answering, I still hope for a lots of idea’s.

I will decide myself what I will do.

Update: To make clear Jurgen does not give 200 dollar, he gives an amazon gift for 200 dollar to buy books.
Update 2: What was not clear, I am very happy that Jurgen does experiments like this. I see my blogpost as a way to get feedback about this experiment. I did not say properly thank tou to Jurgen about the offer. For which I want to apologize.

Thank you Jurgen for the offer.


7 Responses to “Ask for help: what should I do with the 200 Dollar I won for reviewing Jurgens book?”

  1. Hi Yves,

    you did some hard work, and Jurgen wants to thank you for that. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. You deserve it. And all other people who write reviews.

    Therefore I think you *SHOULD* give it to your children, but not for them to buy something with it; Buy something that allows you to spend time with them/play with them, that’s a much better investment .

    my 2cents

  2. Agile Scout says:

    Buy some cool agile books and give them out to the community. #win

  3. yhanoulle says:

    Hi Patrick,
    Thanks for your reply. As I noted further last night, the intention of the post was not to say that what Jurgen did was a bad thing. It seems that I gave that impression to lots of people and I am sorry for that.
    My intention for this post was to find out what I could do with the amazon gift check.
    That is another misconception from my post, it gave the impression I got money. That was not what Jurgen wrote. Jurgen gave away the equivalent of 200 dollor to spend on amazon books. If I buy books for myself I spend less time with my kids… 😉
    And they are too young to enjoy a kindle. (Especially because no Ducth books exist on kindle yet.)

  4. Lisa Crispin says:

    It seems like all your choices are good ones, so at least you can’t go wrong. I’m going to vote with Patrick.

  5. Buy as many copies of Management 3.0 (or another book you really like) as you can, and give them to friends who would appreciate the book (I did so with Maverick!, although I didn’t get prize for reviewing it, I just bough 3 extra copies of the book and used them as presents)

  6. yhanoulle says:

    @ Maxim, that is a nice idea. SO nice I already do this very often. It is actually part of how I do business. I wanted to do something special with the price.
    Currently I a thinking about buying an extra kindle so my clients can read my electronic books. (A disadvantage of now only buying electronic books is that I can no longer lent them to people I work with.)

  7. Carlo Beschi says:

    Hey, what did you do with the prize then?
    I had a couple of ideas (which took me so long to share :-/)

    a) buy the kindle, load it w/ readings (guess that it pre-loads all your bought book if you buy it w/ your account), and let it travel. it could travel hand by hand, if you give it to someone at any conference around (like ALE2011 😉 who then commits to give it to someone else, … (everyone should also commit to take a few pics and/or to load some stuff / take notes / … we could track the agile kindle trip on a public map on a website)

    b) since your kids/family are the ones who suffer more from your passion for reading / continuous learning, sell your prize (I, for example, could buy your 200 prize for 180 ;-)) and then convert that money – you earned – in hours to actually spend with your family (a whole afternoon?)

    stay well