social good

The open source why

Some of my collegues at Red Hat have been working for some time now on a book/wiki titled The Open Source Way.  It is aimed at answering the very important questions of "How?" for a given set of Whats, and its a very important resource for those who are ready to roll up their sleeves and to start putting open source principles to work.  But, why would anybody want to do that?

Why indeed... » Read more

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Capitalism is dead. Long live capitalism.

I’m a capitalist by conviction and profession. I believe the best economic system is one that rewards entrepreneurship and risk-taking, maximizes customer choice, uses markets to allocate scarce resources, and minimizes the regulatory burden on business. If there’s a better recipe for creating prosperity I haven’t seen it.

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The hole in the soul of business

I’m a big fan of New Yorker cartoons. There’s usually at least one in every issue that provokes a wry smile or a wince of self-recognition. While I’ve never actually participated in the magazine’s weekly caption competition, I occasionally gin up a prospective entry. Last week, the contest featured a drawing of a couple sitting in a living room. The husband (perhaps?) was perusing a newspaper on the sofa while his wife lounged in a nearby armchair. She was a mermaid—naked from the waist up, her large flipper resting demurely on the floor. With her head angled towards her companion and her mouth open in mid-sentence, I imagined her to be saying: “After ten years, I think you could have learned to scuba dive,” or “Hiking in the Alps again? I thought we could take a beach holiday this year.”

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B Corps: new advancements in a community advancing our communities

B Lab, the organization behind the growing community of B Corporations (companies using the power of business to solve social and environmental problems) or B Corps for short, recently released its 2011 annual report.

The report highlights some interesting progress over the last year, including a 75% increase in the number of certified B Corps, with larger businesses also joining the growing movement.
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A better way to win: Profiting from purpose

"I would not give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity." —Oliver Wendell Holmes

When it comes to managing their costs, most companies operate with a simple model. They start by trying to maximize their gross margins so that they have a high cushion for spending in areas where they feel they need to spend heavily in order to compete, such as advertising and promotions. But a growing number of high-performing companies are showing that there is a better way to manage spending and improve performance. These companies live and operate on the other side of complexity.

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OpenIDEO: a new experiment in open innovation

This week, those smart folks over at IDEO launched a new project they are calling OpenIDEO. If you aren't familiar with IDEO yet, you should be—they are the poster children for design thinking specifically and 21st century innovation more generally. » Read more

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