small business

Open source as an alternative for small businesses

Choosing between open and closed source software

Is it safe to use? What alternatives do I have? Is it easy to install?

These were some of the questions asked by Amandeep, a New Delhi based owner of a small scale clothing company, when I pitched to him a few open source solutions that could make his day-to-day operations more efficient. For someone without any IT background (but a sharp business sense), these were brilliant and relevant questions. The answers to these questions won't just help Amandeep, but if shared broadly may help reduce the apprehension of a significant number of small scale business owners, especially in India. My interactions have shown that a lot of these businesses are looking to grow, enhance their productivity, and most importantly, save costs. » Read more

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Coding for good: Highlights from the open source humanitarian movement

open source lightning talks

HFOSS, Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software, is a movement inspired first by the December 2004 Asian tsunami, and then by other humanitarian needs in the health, civic, finance and academic sectors (especially for women and people of color).

Leslie Hawthorn, part of Red Hat's Community Action and Impact team, gives example after example of how HFOSS has improved and made possible disaster preparedness and relief programs, as well as empowered other projects: » Read more

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GROUND LAB Part 1: Practical prototyping and the history of technological development

GROUND LAB is a research and development company focused on designing and fabricating prototypes and solutions for a wide range of clients, ranging from large organizations like UNICEF to smaller NGOs, conservationists and artists. To prototype and build solutions for these varied challenges requires a high degree of flexible problem solving techniques, skills and solutions, which has led us toward using an open source business model and tools.

The current context of technological development as it applies to what we do » Read more

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Open Forum connecting small business owners

open ants

I was watching some NFL on TV today when a commercial about open forums came on that caught my attention. The ad was for www.openforum.com, an online community designed to help business owners grow their business. It's sponsored by American Express. » Read more

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