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Innovation Happens Elsewhere

Posted by hiheiss on July 11, 2006 at 2:12 PM PDT

In this interview (by yours truly), Innovation Happens Elsewhere: Part Two of a Conversation With Sun Microsystems Laboratories' Ron Goldman, with Sun's Ron Goldman, he talks about working with Richard Gabriel to help groups at Sun build successful communities around such open-source projects as Jini technology, the NetBeans IDE, OpenOffice, JXTA technology, java.net, and, most recently, OpenSolaris. They've put their insights into a Jolt award-winning book, Innovation Happens Elsewhere.

I found Ron's observations interesting. Here's some in a nutshell:

* The key to successful open source projects is passionately shared goals.

* There are always more smart people outside of a company than in it. Hence, "Innovation Happens Elsewhere".

* The biggest misconception managers have is that they can cut back on the number of people in their group working on a project by making open sourcing it, because the community will pick up the slack. But in fact, it's the opposite: An open-source project takes more resources than an internal proprietary one.

* Another misconception is that open source is business as usual and doesn't require fundamental change.

* Users are often a neglected resource in open source communities. Because they often are not programmers, they may not get a vote, but who is better than the end-user at evaluating the software?

I'm wondering if these ring true to you....

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