The Grand Experiment
A few weeks ago, someone asked me what I did. I was at a loss for words (yes, it happens to me too.)
What do I do?
Why am I starting a company called Open Source Strategies??
Later, I realized why I was at a loss: Unlike most of my peers, I'm not betting on a particular technology. Instead, I'm conducting an experiment, which comes down to this:
Can we make software better with open source processes?
Can we develop better software?
- Would collaboration allow us to get better ideas?
- Is remote, asynchronous development more efficient?
- Can a collaborative environment attract better developers? (In other words, are there smart people working outside your company?)
- Can peer review help us write higher quality software, with more flexibility and fewer defects?
Could software vendors:
- Reduce the cost of developing software by using existing open source code?
- Avoid wasteful R&D investments with a tighter vendor-user relationship?
- Lower distribution costs achieved through an open source model?
- Move to a demand-driven business model? (In other words, what we've been telling those other industries to do.)
Would users benefit from:
- access to source code?
- greater flexbility in customization?
- taking control of support/maintenance decisions?
I do not believe we can replace the commercial software business model with an open source one. Rather, I wonder if we can bring together the best of both worlds--the innovation, creativity, and efficiency of the open source model and the resources and organization of the commercial one.
Marketing gurus say everybody needs a mission statement. Here's mine: