My new mantra is "Email is not work". I just got back from OSBC 2008, and saw once again, how tied we all are to our electronic devices. Now I like my BlackBerry as much as the next person, but I'm afraid that we may be so busy checking email that we are missing out on valuable opportunities to think and learn. Matt Asay talks about this in his blog Back in the good old days when I had time to think.
In his summary What I learned from OSBC 2008, Matt Asay commented on how we align open source business models with customer satisfaction (and willingness to pay". According to Matt:
Radiohead was one of the first bands to release an album for free over the internet, but they later wound up releasing a regular album and taking their download links down. They also view the effort as something of a failure, and Trent Reznor chalks this up to them being insincere. Reznor points out that the album was poor quality and not released under Creative Commons.
I don't work Fridays. Unless I'm traveling, or there are meetings or something urgent happens. But in general, I don't work Fridays.
The most important motivation for moving toward Agile should be to gather frequent, if not continuous, customer feedback during development. This more frequent feedback requires a high standard of quality be always maintained during development of the product - making it usable throughout the development lifecycle.
I was reading this blog post the other day, and it tied in to some of the recent discussion on this blog as related to NIN's open approach to making music available. The notion put forward (and linked to) is that copy protection is pointless. The blogger goes on to point out that "the fact that the most easily found etexts are those of the bestselling books should suffice to prove that only a very small percentage of ebook pirates were ever potential customers."
After my “Would you do it again for free?” talk people always come up to share their stories. (It's one of my favorite parts of public speaking.) One common comment - one that initially surprised me - is “I try to keep my open source software work and my job separate.” I had assumed that everyone's “dream job” would be getting a paycheck for working on their hobby. So in our recent survey of our expert community, I asked, “If there is a company associated with the project you work on, would you like to work there?” Of those that qualified, only 30% would!
Agile methodologies are much more common within the better open source projects than many would think based upon the primary tenets of Agile. Agile covets customer feedback during development of a project which is incorporated in subsequent releases or benchmarks of a project. Some might argue that open source projects lack the frequent customer feedback loops required for a true Agile approach. After all, benchmarks between open source releases are rarely seen by any end users, managers or stake holders in a company.
A little over a month ago Sandro Groganz announced the launch of InitMarketing, his new marketing consultancy. Like any new company InitMarketing is in need of a logo, so Sandro is conducting a logo design contest through the end of the month. Being a marketing guy in the open source software industry, I figured I’d take a shot and see if I can win the iPod Touch he’s giving away for the top design. I should note that I’m not a formally-trained graphic artist, but I’m pretty handy with Photoshop and Illustrator.
Just following up on the post about how Trent Reznor's Open Source-style music made $750,000 in a few days...
Back in 2006, Tim O'Reilly announced that "Open source licenses are obsolete." His point was that Web 2.0 applications and software as a service models don't distribute software so they don't trigger the distribution clause. No longer. The Affero General Public License plugs that hole and makes open source licensing relevant again in the Web 2.0 world. Affero's copyleft provision applies to software as a service applications. That's why we picked Affero for our OSSDiscovery project.
Glyn Moody wrote an interesting article for the Guardian earlier this month titled “Why falling Flash prices threaten Microsoft.” It got me thinking about commoditization; specifically pondering the question: Is Linux driving the O/S towards commoditization as many would have us believe?
Now that I have received some feedback, I need to clarify a few points about the credit program.
In the very same open source philosophy that led to Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor releasing his latest album, Ghosts, on bittorrent with a Creative Commons license, Trent has now teamed up with Web 2.0 favorite YouTube to host a film festival surrounding the new album.
In my blog reader, one right after the other:
Copying Sandro Groganz, I thought I'd tell people that I'll be at OSBC in San Francisco from March 24-26. If you are in my Dopplr network, you know that already, but if not I'd love the chance to meet people in person so that I can associate faces and voices with all those emails and blog posts!
I was driving to work the other day, listening to talk radio. They were discussing the Democratic National Convention and how it was “going green”. This intrigued me, and I went to take a look.
When I teach open source software policy classes, one of the first things I say is that open source software is different because the acquisition of open source bypasses procurement. Companies are all set up for software to come in through procurement: the finance department gets involved, the license gets reviewed by legal, the user agreement is negotiated by contracts, ... but open source software doesn't come in through procurement. It bypasses the entire system because developers can just download it directly from the web.
Karri Dunn recently announced DreamSpark on Port25. DreamSpark is a program that provides free Microsoft development tools to students for non-commercial purposes.
Having read my colleagues post on the Trent Reznors open source music project, and being a fan of Nine Inch Nails earlier work,
There are many reasons to start a company with an open source product. Here's a very noble reason by a company making open source robots:
I wanted to follow up a bit on yesterday's post, regarding the band Nine Inch Nails making tons of money despite releasing their latest album on torrent sites under a Creative Commons License.
Open source software developers are paid more than other software developers. Matt Asay found the Report: Open Source Adoption Increases App Dev Pay that says:
This past week, the band Nine Inch Nails released a new studio album consisting of 36 tracks on the internet. He uploaded a torrent of the album to The Pirate Bay as well as other torrent sites, all completely free.
Stephen Shankland has a good article about whether or not public domain software is open source or not. Short summary: attorneys say no, open source advocates say yes. The difference of opinion is due to the issue that Stephen doesn't cover. The biggest myth of public domain software. Most developers believe they can say the software they write is in the public domain. They can't.
Matt Asay recently wrote a post on What is Really Going on at JBoss? In it he quotes Marc Fleury's comments that JBoss is doing well.
My favorite talk at LinuxConf Australia was Jonathan Oxer's Hardware / Software Hacking: Joining Second Life to the Real World. During the talk he set up a fan with a remote control power switch, connected the remote control to his computer, set it up in Second Life and then let people in the room turn the fan on and off ... through Second Life. He then showed us some pictures from his house:
Many companies are afraid of releasing code under an open source license. Some are afraid that a competitor will take their technology and use it against them. Some are afraid that they'll expose an intellectual property mistake that they've made - and get in trouble. Some are afraid for some reason they can't define or aren't willing to share. Now I'm thinking they might have that general American fear of "being sued".
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