Business

MindTouch CEO on open standards, culture, and working at Microsoft

(...hint: it might not be what you expect!)

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Aaron Fulkerson, founder and CEO of MindTouch. Before founding the company in 2005, Fulkerson (and co-founder Steve Bjorg) worked in Microsoft's advanced strategies division. After leaving Microsoft, the duo recognized a growing need for a scalable, easy-to-use open source collaboration platform for business and focused their efforts on a pet project, Deki Wiki. Within three years, Deki Wiki was rated as one of the Top 5 OSS projects by SourceForge.net and ultimately grew to become the company known as MindTouch today. MindTouch offers a robust enterprise collaboration platform with more than 16 million users and 400,000 web visits each month.

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Open marketing: What does it really mean?

The Open Source Way book has a section on Open Marketing, and I'll be honest: I have my doubts.

I will grant that the American Marketing Association defines marketing as "the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large."

But in the real world? It seems to me that marketing is often better defined, "the art of convincing others they have a need for something... for which they have no need." » Read more

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Think laterally

When Thomas Friedman enumerated 10 "flattening forces" in his book The World Is Flat, he declared that force #4, Open Source, was the most powerful and disruptive of all. New discoveries in nature suggest that Friedman's assessment may be more profound (and more consistent) than even he imagined.

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Meetings: Worthwhile or waste of time? Here's how to find out.

The pointless, endless office meeting. We've all been stuck in one. And if your department is like most, there's no transparent means to determine which conference room gatherings are highly productive and which are taking valuable time away from the business.

So here's a simple technique to hold your co-workers and management accountable for the meetings they call. » Read more

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Recipe for a successful business: One part openness, two parts trust

There's one major advantage to openness in business. Like the Billy Joel song says, it's just a matter of trust. 

Harvard Business Review's Peter Merholz recently highlighted several successful businesses modeled on trust—and, though he doesn't note it, openness. » Read more

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Announcing the Open Your World Forum

The opensource.com team is excited to announce our first-ever live event, the Open Your World Forum. The forum, held via webinar on Thursday, May 27, 2010, will feature presentations by leading open source thinkers in the fields of business, education, law, government, healthcare, and music. The event is free and entirely online--so join us for the whole day or any part that interests you, from your desk, your sofa, or anywhere you like.

Who will be presenting? » Read more

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Toyota gives customer-driven design the green light

A few weeks ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst wrote an article for BusinessWeek suggesting that Toyota might benefit from doing things the open source way when it comes to building the software inside its automobiles.

From Jim's article: » Read more

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BusinessWeek turns an eye to open source beyond technology

Here at opensource.com, we aspire to take principles the open source software movement has applied to building better software faster and find more uses for them in business, education, government, the law, and generally in our lives. » Read more

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Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, on passion, believing, and the open source way

While attending DrupalCon San Francisco 2010 last week, I got a chance to catch up with Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal as well as co-founder and CTO of Acquia. Dries is a very humble guy. I first met him in December 2009 in New Orleans at a Do It With Drupal event. He's an icon in the Drupal world, but I wanted to get some insight beyond the bits and bytes. I sat down with Dries, and we talked about the open source way and some of the things he's learned over the past 10 years. What's intriguing to me is how for him, this seems like an accident, but he's navigated the waters of open source to accomplish some amazing things. » Read more

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Jim Whitehurst: Don’t build a better mousetrap. Change the business model.

Companies that are creating massive value typically aren’t building a better mousetrap. They’re not improving on existing technologies or simply adding new features. Instead, they’re changing the business model. This was the message behind Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst’s keynote at today’s CED Venture 2010 Conference» Read more

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