Business

Open business funding: New ideas for a new economy

Starting a business is always a bit of a gamble. But investing in a start-up is practically a guessing game.

“A lot of venture capitalists will tell you that for early stage investment they don't have any real way of knowing which businesses will succeed,” said Marc Dangeard, head of Entrepreneur Commons. “They might invest in thirty businesses of the same type for the one that will thrive.”

Faced with the difficulties of venture capitalism and start-up funding, Dangeard decided it was time to “take the ego out” of venture capital. » Read more

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User-led innovation can't create breakthroughs. Really?

Earlier this week, Fast Company posted an article by Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen (thanks to Gunnar Hellekson for sending it my way) that may be of interest to folks seeing success with their open source and open innovation efforts.

The article is entitled "User-Led Innovation Can't Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and IKEA" and here's how it starts: » Read more

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The four capital mistakes of open source

How do you develop a successful open source business that lasts? Of the more than 250,000 open source projects on SourceForge, few will be successful at that goal. But one way they might think about how to do it is by doing it in reverse: What should an open source project or business not do?

» Read more

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Five questions about open source and branding with Alina Wheeler

A few years back, a good friend recommended I pick up a copy of Designing Brand Identity: an essential guide for the whole branding team by Alina Wheeler. Now in its 3rd edition, it's a beautiful book, well designed and easy to read or to use as a reference. » Read more

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Four ways to undermine a community

At opensource.com, we often talk about ways to build and nourish communities. But sometimes what you do right is less important than what you’re doing wrong. We dug through our archives looking for cautionary tales that show how communities break down—or never begin to flourish in the first place. » Read more

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Leadership in open source communities

Leadership in most organizations is top-down. The CEO tells the VP, who tells the director, who tells the manager, who instructs his employee to do work. Culturally most people are conditioned to think that's expected. But open source communities rarely work that way, and that's one of the oddities people discover upon getting involved in open source--and often they need a period of acclimation to get used to it. It’s also certainly one of the strengths of open source communities, as well as one of the least understood functions, even among those in communities of practice. » Read more

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Your open source management approach: Red Team or Blue Team?

When I hear people in the technology industry talk about the benefits of open source software, one of things they mention often is their belief that open source software “gets better faster” than traditional software (David Wheeler has done a nice job collecting many of the proof points around the benefits of open source software here). » Read more

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Why work?

Most economic theories (and many managers) assume that the best way to get what you want from workers is give them the right financial incentives.

But most real people have lots of reasons for working besides just making money. They work to have fun, to socialize with others, to challenge themselves, to find meaning in their lives, and for many other reasons. To bring out people’s best efforts in their work, we need to engage more of these non-monetary motivations.

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Six ways to build a solid community

Recently, fellow opensource.com writer Chris Grams remarked that our collection of articles and tips on community-building was getting rather large. Perhaps we had the material to write a set of best practices for building communities. So here’s my stab at it. » Read more

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What does Google's management change say about the open source way?

Last week, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced in a post on his blog he was stepping aside and Google co-founder Larry Page would take on management of Google's day-to-day operations as the new CEO. Although Schmidt is staying on as Executive Chairman for now and will continue to have an ongoing role in the company, many including myself, were surprised by the news. » Read more

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