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What business can learn from open source  ↦

Sometimes you need to look back in order to go forward. In this 2005 Paul Graham essay derived from his talk at OSCON that same year, Paul contrasts open source and blogging to extract wisdom for companies to follow. What’s more interesting is just how right this essay was, with the luxury of hindsight and history on our side today.

…the biggest thing business has to learn from open source is not about Linux or Firefox, but about the forces that produced them. Ultimately these will affect a lot more than what software you use.

Like open source, blogging is something people do themselves, for free, because they enjoy it. … People just produce whatever they want; the good stuff spreads, and the bad gets ignored. And in both cases, feedback from the audience improves the best work.

In a world where the playing field is leveled and everyone has the same or similar access to share their ideas, ideas will “bubble up from the bottom, instead of flowing down from the top.”

Well said Paul.


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