LESSONS FROM OPEN SOURCE



JA NOTE:


My introduction to the potential of open source models came listening to Yochai Benkler speak at the 2003 Multiples of One Conference in Boston convened at the MIT Media Lab by Kate Erhlich and colleagues. For me Multiples of One is the standard by which all others will be judged. Sadly the web site is no longer although thankfully Bill Ives captured the event in his blog. The speaker list was exceptional including the Moore's Law man himself and Frank Duffy talking about architecting buildings and spaces to support collaborative work. There was also a speaker whose job title was "'corporate storyteller". Also my introduction to 'storytelling" in organizations.

I've mentioned Eric Von Hippel elsewhere here in relation to his study of the open source movement and lead users. Open source also emerged as an "influence" in the Online Communities in Business 2004 study Joe Cothrel and I conducted. And it arose again in exchanges on our 21st Century Organisation blog after meeting Simon Wardley at the FAST Conference.

I believe there the open source movement provides important lessons in organizing to create value through participation and connecting intelligences. I hope we can find open source aficianados to help us understand if this is so, and if "yes", HOW?

Jenny Ambrozek 6.30.2007 or rather 30.6.200 in Australia, end day for the financial year there with the day almost done.


Simon Wardley provides input through his Web 2.0 Berlin Blog Post


And its about removing barriers and accelerating spread of ideas.



Simon Wardley wrote:

"In the same way that open source collaboration became faster than proprietary development, the same would seem to be true in information aggregation.

The hidden power behind this all is that open source removes barriers to dissemination of ideas and content. This spurs on innovation, as it accelerates the rate at which the novel and new becomes ubiquitous and common.

You can see this effect in other areas, hence wikipedia become quickly the main source of knowledge on the internet - precisely because of its open and free nature, precisely because this encourages collaboration. If you don't encourage collaboration, then because of the open and free nature someone else will - hence the trio of open, free and collaboration are always combined.
This meme will travel into processes, including business processes and many other areas of human endeavour. It increases collaboration by removing the barriers of secrecy and the illusion of arcane knowledge. It's strongest affect is where it impacts infra-structural services - those used by all. Had HTTP not been released in an open and free manner, the world wide web would not have become the force it is today.
Hence enterprise 2.0 for me is merely an extension and spread of this meme into an organisation. Ultimately I expect to see more openness and collaboration between organisations as a result - hence my theme about the necessity for openness in business at Andrew Mcafee's session at FAST and why I agreed with Euan Semple's default position that the simplest thing is to do nothing ... it's going to happen to an organisation in any case ... assuming the organisation chooses to compete in this new world.



Simon
The bold above is my highlighting of what seem key points in your post:
i. "open and free .... encourages collaboration.".
I think we need look no further than the impact of Facebook opening its API to developers for the reality of that, would you agree?
The Alexa site ranking graph tells the story.

ii." It increases collaboration by removing the barriers of secrecy and the illusion of arcane knowledge"
Your mention of "barriers" especially interesting given Jack Vinson's recent blog post and contribution here making the case that policies in organizations can effecectively serve as "barriers".

I suspect you don't necessarily think of yourself as an expert on "learning" but I suspect you have further interesting insights to add regarding the topic of this wiki and article to be" "learning through participation and connected intelligence".
Can I ask you please to draw on your knowledge of the open source movement and elaborate more specifically on this theme?

Specifically in your April 29, 2007 Stop all that chattering! I'm talking ... blog post you expanded on the essentials of open source development being: "try, measure and adapt".

Perhaps you can reflect on their relevance to "learning through participation and connected intelligence" and if does not apply, share your thinking?

And if you would prefer to pass, please feel free.

Jenny Ambrozek 7.4.07