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Innovation Happens Elsewhere : Open Source as Business Strategy [Hardcover]

Ron Goldman , Richard P. Gabriel

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Book Description

25 April 2005 1558608893 978-1558608894
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. It is the winner of 2006 Jolt Productivity Award for General Books. It describes how open source development works and offers persuasive reasons for using it to help achieve business goals. It shows how to use open source in day-to-day work, discusses the various licenses in use, and describes what makes for a successful project. It is written in an engaging style for executives, managers, and engineers that addresses the human and business issues involved in open source development as well as its history, philosophy, and future

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"Innovation Happens Elsewhere is at least as important for those who have no interest in software as those who do, because in the details of the history and practice of the open source community lie clues to the institutional adaptations of the information economy; in the clauses of the various software licenses lie the case law that will come to define property in the information age. There are other books that have a great deal to say about this evolution, but none combines the personal experience and inside-out insight to be gained from the engagement of Ron Goldman and Richard Gabriel in so many flesh-and-blood open source projects and the development of the structures that have supported them." from the foreword by Chris Meyer, Monitor Group

About the Author

Ron Goldman is a researcher at Sun Microsystems Laboratories in California working on alternative software development methodologies and new software architectures inspired by biology. He has been working with open source since hacking on GDB at Lucid, Inc. back in 1992. Since 1998 he has been helping groups at Sun Microsystems understand open source and advising them on how to build successful communities around their open source projects. Prior to Sun he developed a program to generate and manipulate visual representations of complex data for use by social scientists as part of a collaboration between NYNEX Science & Technology and the Institute for Research on Learning. He has worked on programming language design, programming environments, user interface design, and data visualization. He has a PhD in computer science from Stanford University where he was a member of the robotics group. Richard P. Gabriel received a PhD in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1981, and an MFA in Poetry from Warren Wilson College in 1998. He has been a researcher at Stanford University, company president and Chief Technical Officer at Lucid, Inc., vice president of Development at ParcPlace-Digitalk, a management consultant for several startups and Sun Microsystems, and Consulting Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University. He currently is a Distinguished Engineer and principal investigator of a small research group at Sun Laboratories, researching the architecture, design, and implementation of extraordinarily large, self-sustaining systems as well as development techniques for building them. He is one of Sun's open source experts, advising the company on community-based strategies. He is also President of the Hillside Group, a nonprofit that nurtures the software patterns community by holding conferences, publishing books, and awarding scholarships. He is an ACM Fellow, has been a finalist in several poetry manuscript contests, including the National Poetry Series book prize, and has won the Texas Instruments Excellence in Technical Communications Award, the Northeastern University Outstanding Alumni Award, the ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Service Award, and the ACM/AAAI Allen Newell Award. From the press release for the 2004 Allen Newell award from the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM): "A man of remarkable breadth and challenging intellect, Richard Gabriel has had a remarkable influence not only on fundamental issues in programming languages and software design but also on the interaction between computer science and other disciplines, notably architecture and poetry. Dr. Gabriel's background spans industry and academia, technology and humanities, introspection and application. He stretches the imagination of computer scientists with ideas and innovations from other fields and thus his role in shaping the growth and impact of obj

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
BUSINESS IS CHANGING after the expansive thinking of the law 1990s followed by the lessons learned in the early 2000s: It no longer makes sense for every company to make and own every aspect of its business. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars online version 13 Dec 2005
By I. Maclean - Published on
The authoors have made this book available for reading online under a creative commons license at:


This is very generous of the authors and thankfully is happening more and more with FOSS related books. - see Karl Fogels "Producing Open source" or Lessigs "Free Culture".

By all means buy the hardcopy if you like the online version. Personally I'm more likely to want to support an author who is good enough to make the material available online.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sometimes look outside your company 3 Aug 2005
By W Boudville - Published on
The authors explain how open source can be compatible with a company that develops its own proprietary software. A key point of the book is that going with open source can be a very pragmatic decision about speeding up product development. Because no matter how innovative your people are, the chances are high that due to sheer numbers of other people, you can use open source code developed by the latter.

One does not have to buy into the entire open source mindset to acknowledge that there is merit in accessing external code that is useful. If for no other reason than that your competitors might already be doing so. Reimplementing an open source application takes time to write and debug. So sometimes, look outside your company.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guide to the Value Created by Free/Open Source Software 27 Jan 2007
By Robert David STEELE Vivas - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not the book I was expecting, but that's my fault. I was expecting something beyond "The Innovator's Dilemma" focused on management. What I ended up with was in fact much more useful, an elementary but essential and easy to read guide to Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS).

This book is a real gem, and for any manager thinking about how to explode out of their tired old proprietary software architecture, joins "Wikinomics" and "Infotopia" as essential reading.

This book is well-structured, comes with credible and extensive references and appendices, and also offers an online version for preview or later quick search at [ ...w.]

I'm still waiting for Sun and RedHat to create a skunkworks where we can quickly test-drive and adapt open source softwares addressing each of the 18 functionalities that the Central Intelligence Agency has known it needed since 1986 but still does not have precisely because the CIA is the anti-thesis of open source (see image I have added above).

Earth Intelligence Network is going to put CIA out of business--it will be based on open source software, and everyone will benefit. That is a good thing! The sub-title of this book is on target: it is a primer on open source as business strategy. To that I would add what I have recommended to the organizers of OSCON, that managers be very aware of the others opens: Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), Open Spectrum, Open Access, Open Culture, Open Innovation, Open Society, and Open Circle/Open Space. There are others emerging. Open is now a meme as well as a culture, and this book helps us to understand why that is and why that matters.
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