Don't let FUD kill your business goals |

Don't let FUD kill your business goals

A bulldozer getting rid of FUD
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If there's one thing business leaders can learn from open source developers, it's when you begin disrupting the comfortable ways that people do business, you'll experience the power of FUD—Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. And your ideas, in all their brilliant, open-minded glory, will be the target.

Open source software developers have heard it all. Open source is risky. It will destroy your profitability. It will turn you into a communist. Worthy of inclusion on an international watchlist. And you should probably be quarantined.

So if you're facing opposition to bringing the open source way to your organization, find an established open source community and ask what has worked for them—and what hasn't.

Drupal developer Bryan Ollendyke likes to point to successful implementations of Drupal, like Penn State or the White House. This is an excellent strategy for silencing the nay-sayers. Arm yourself with examples of respected companies who embody the open source way.

Rob Weir of the OpenDocument Format looks carefully at the lies and half-truths and then formulates a concise response that sets the record straight. It's hard to argue with facts.

When dealing with FUD, it will be tempting to launch a full scale counter-attack. But you risk your integrity when you counter with more FUD.

Ultimately, the most effective solution to the FUD problem is to focus on driving forward the project that's facing the opposition. Success is more than just the best revenge—it wins you a broader audience and a bigger platform for advocating change.


About the author

Rebecca Fernandez - Rebecca Fernandez is a Principal Program Manager at Red Hat, leading projects to help the company scale its open culture. She's an Open Organization Ambassador, contributed to The Open Organization book, and maintains the Open Decision Framework. She is interested in the intersection of open source principles and practices, and how they can transform organizations for the better.