Business

How to tell if you’re a natural leader

I’ll bet you know a natural leader. Maybe you are one.

Maybe you’re a mom who started a support group for the parents of children with special needs.

Maybe you’re a concerned citizen who mobilized a group of preservation-minded neighbors to halt the destruction of a venerable old building.

Maybe you’re a churchgoer who convinced some of your fellow parishioners to help mentor at-risk kids.

Or maybe you simply organized your company’s first softball league. » Read more

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Lessons in customer service from the best and worst companies on Twitter

Twitter offers customer service access on problems that you couldn't have reached before: the little things. (I've heard they count.) There's a huge opportunity for companies to interact with their customers in a way they haven't before, but a lot of them are still ignoring it. Or worse, they think they're using it, but they're completely missing the point.

BT (Before Twitter) » Read more

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Interview: Thomas Thwaite, designer and technologist, peeks into the future

Thomas Thwaite, designer and technologist, is perhaps best known through his Toaster Project. The Toaster Project was an attempt to build a toaster from raw, self-mined materials. The project exposed the complexity of seemingly simple and everyday technology. It leaves us to wonder how technology will change our lives in the future, and shows how we all need others to get even simple products.

I contacted Thomas to ask him about his projects, his views on technology and what makes him tick. » Read more

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Open For Business: The importance of trademarks, even for an open source business

Though it might seem to contradict the open source way, I believe it is essential for an open source project to register and protect its trademark.

Think about it: You spend hours upon hours creating a project, writing code and building a reputation. The code is free, so anyone can use it, but your reputation--that’s your business. How do you protect it, if just anyone can come along and use your name? » Read more

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The responsibility in open source

I’ve written before about the genuine renaissance open source software represents and the vast implications that openness provides. I’ve admitted that computer science, based on its relative unwillingness to share great ideas, has lagged behind other hard sciences in its understanding of how and where value is created. » Read more

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Marketers: It’s time to reinvent creativity

By now, I'd wager cold, hard cash that you've heard it all before: marketing's just not good enough, cool enough, interesting enough, fast enough, real enough, tough enough, slick enough, noisy enough, responsible enough.

And, as rousing and convincing as those arguments are, you've probably also concluded that the state of the art as it stands is, truth be told, more than OK to get the job done.

Yet, while we might not want to admit it, I bet we all know it: we can--and should--do better. » Read more

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Poaching prevention: It’s not a problem. It’s a symptom.

Recently, I was watching a nature program on bowerbirds. When it’s mating season, these industrious little creatures build elaborate nests (bowers) to draw in female bowerbirds. They decorate with colorful bits of trash (some are particularly partial to blue items) and steal bottlecaps and feathers from their competitors’ bowers. They even use optical illusions within their bower designs to make themselves appear larger to their would-be mates. When at last a male draws a female bowerbird into his bower, he struts and dances and sings just long enough to convince her to mate. She heads up into the trees to build a nest for her eggs, and he’s back in his bachelor pad looking for his next mate. » Read more

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Free vs Paid Business Models webcast: More audience questions answered

During our Free vs. Paid Business Models webcast, we had a lot of questions from the audience—more than our guests had time to answer. Nicolas Pujol generously took a few more minutes of his time to answer these followups. » Read more

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Why Don't IT Departments Give Employees More Freedom?

Do you feel hamstrung by your company’s IT policies? Are the IT tools you have at home more up-to-date than ones you’re forced to use at work? Do you wish you had more control over your IT environment at work? If so, you’re not alone.

A while back in the Wall Street Journal, Nick Wingfield dared to question the totalitarian policies of the average corporate IT department–and boy-oh-boy does he make some good points. » Read more

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Drive and motivation: Daniel Pink webcast recap

Daniel Pink, known for his insightful take on what truly inspires and encourages us all, joined opensource.com for a webcast June 22 on the subject of his latest book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. » Read more

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