I used to think that milestones like 100,000 downloads, 1 million users, or $10MM in revenue were just arbitrary, meaningless markers. With respect to the operation of the business itself, I still think that crossing these threholds doesn't change anything. After all, what's the difference between 99,999 downloads and 100,000 downloads?

But the one area where these arbitrary milestones matter (and oh man do they matter a lot) is team motivation. And as we all know, motivation is a huge factor in getting us to go the extra mile. My own productivity definitely gyrates wildly depending on my motivation levels.

I'm a contributor to the Fluentd Open Source Project, and there have been two recent milestones/events that have been a boon to my motivation levels.

This month, Parviz Deyham from Amazon Web Service promoted Fluentd as the best data collection tool for Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), a hosted Hadoop framework running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3).

In the best practices whitepaper, Parviz, an Enterpise Solution Architect at AWS, notes that, "Fluentd is easier to install and maintain and has better documentation and support than Flume and Scribe."

From the Treasure Data Blog.

Amazon is obviously the 500 pound gorilla in anything cloud data, so it's an amazing feeling to get recognition and a hat tip in their whitepaper.

And just this week,

"This week, Fluentd website has more traffic from US than Japan (both around 30%). Apparently, the integration with ElasticSearch + Kibana is driving the adoption. Next milestone is to surpass logstash in mind share."

From Kaz, CTO of Treasure Data

Fluend has historically been very Japan-heavy in terms of community involvement and usage, so seeing the data behind our increased mindshare elsewhere in the world (and particularly in the States) is really encouraging for the project team.

Simply put, when we do great work and get recognized for our efforts by people who matter to us (The AWS guys, hackers and programmers world wide), we definitely get fired up to do more.

No wonder the high morale companies and teams don't cheap out in celebrating such milestones. However much you're paying for the booze, pizza, and decorations, you're easily making back through the amped up team motivation.