Innovation Happens Elsewhere

Open Source as Business Strategy

Ron Goldman, Richard P. Gabriel

Publisher: Morgan-Kaufmann, 2005, 402 pages

ISBN: 1-55860-889-3

Keywords: Open Source

Last modified: Dec. 26, 2010, 2:15 a.m.

It's a plain fact: regardless of how smart, creative, and innovative your organization is, there are more smart, creative, and innovative people outside your organization than inside. Open source offers the possibility of bringing more innovation into your business by building a creative community that reaches beyond the barriers of the business. The key is developing a web-driven community where new types of collaboration and creativity can flourish. Since 1998 Ron Goldman and Richard Gabriel have been helping groups at Sun Microsystems understand open source and advising them on how to build successful communities around open source projects. In this book the authors present lessons learned from their own experiences with open source, as well as those from other well-known projects such as Linux, Apache, and Mozilla.

  1. Introduction
    • Open Source: A Different Way of Doing Business
    • Innovation Happens Elsewhere
    • Jumping In
    • Understanding Open Source
    • Communities
    • Who This Book Is Intended For
    • Open Source as Business Strategy
  2. Innovation Happens Elsewhere
    • Open Source Is a Commons
    • Can the Commons Make a Difference?
    • The Commons and Software
    • Open versus Closed
    • Use of the Commons: Creativity and Conversations
    • Innovation Happens Elsewhere
  3. What Is Open Source?
    • Open Source in Brief
    • Philosophical Tenets of Open Source
    • Open Source and Agile Methodologies
    • Common Open Source Myths, Misconceptions and Questions
    • Open Source and Community
    • The Secret of Why Open Source Works
    • Variations on Open Source: Gated Communities and Internal Open Source
    • Open Source: Why Do They Do It?
    • What Is Open Source?
  4. Why Consider Open Source?
    • Business Reasons for Choosing to Open Source Your Code
    • Creating Your Business Model and Following Through With It
    • Measuring Success
    • An Example: The Innovation Happens Elsewhere Strategy
    • Business Reasons for Using Open Source Products
    • Why Consider Open Source?
  5. Licenses
    • What a License Does
    • What a License Does Not Do
    • More On Copyright…
    • …And a Quick Word on Patents
    • The Licenses
    • Dual Licensing
    • Supplementing The License — Contributor Agreements
    • Licenses For Documentation
    • Licenses
  6. How To Do Open-Source Development
    • The Infrastructure Needed for an Open Source Project
    • Software Lifecycle
    • Building a Community
    • Ending an Open Source Project
    • Joining an Existing Open Source Project
    • Open Source within a Company
    • How to Do Open-Source Development
  7. Going With Open Source
    • Deciding to Do Open Source
    • How To Prepare to Do Open Source at Your Company
    • Getting Approval from Your Company
    • Problems You Can Expect to Encounter
    • Going with Open Source
  8. How To Build Momentum
    • Marketing Your Project
    • Focus on Your Users and Contributors
    • Community Outreach
    • Harvesting Innovation
    • Welcome the Unexpected
  9. What To Avoid Known Problems and Failures
    • Not Understanding Open Source
    • Don't Needlessly Duplicate An Existing Effort
    • Licensing Issues
    • Design Issues
    • Code Issues
    • Trying to Control Too Much
    • Marketing Issues
    • Tension Between an Open Source Project and the Rest of Your Company
    • Community Issues
    • Lack Of Resources
    • Recovering from Mistakes
  10. Closing Thoughts
  • Appendix A: Resources
    • Further Reading
    • Websites Of Interest
    • Tools
    • Licenses
  • Appendix B: Licenses
    • Apache Software License
    • Artistic License
    • Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD)
    • FreeBSD Documentation License
    • GNU Free Documentation License (FDL)
    • GNU General Public License (GPL)
    • GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)
    • IBM Common Public License (CPL)
    • Microsoft Shared Source License for CLI, C# and JScript
    • Microsoft Shared Source License For Windows CE .NET
    • MIT Or X License
    • Mozilla Public License (MPL)
    • Open Publication License
    • Sun Community Source License (SCSL)
    • Sun Industry Standards Source License (SISSL)
    • Sun Public Documentation License (PDL)
  • Appendix C: Contributor Agreements
    • Apache Contributor Agreement
    • Free Software Foundation Copyright Assignment Form
    • Mozilla Contributor Assignment
    • OpenOffice.Org Contributor Assignment
    • Project JXTA Contributor Assignment
  • Appendix D: Codename Spinnaker


Innovation Happens Elsewhere

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Outstanding ********* (9 out of 10)

Last modified: Dec. 26, 2010, 2:16 a.m.

This is something as odd as a book about the Free and Open Source communities and the possible business use your organization may have by collaborating with them or open up your software. The odd thing is that it is written by Sun people! Regardless of what Mr. Joy and Mr McNealy today says, Sun has never been a F/OSS company in any meaning of the world (and with Oracle today, even less so).

Regardless of the oddity of the books origins, it is extremely well written, with exactly the right tone and detail that any CIO and/or business manager that is contemplating F/OSS software is willing to listen to and respond well to.

Ok, there are details you may criticize, and/or disagree with, but overall, I believe this is a very valuable book, that unlike many other books that tries to reach management about F/OSS actually succeeds.

In short, recommended reading whether you're serious about the subject or just curious.


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