BusinessWeek turns an eye to open source beyond technology

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In my humble opinion

Here at, 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.

So a few weeks back, I was excited to see that BusinessWeek (now Bloomberg BusinessWeek) ran a special report called Eye on: Open Source that also embraced the wider usage of open source principles in technology and beyond.

My personal opinion? I think a few of the articles in the special report confuse true community-driven open source innovation with concepts like user-driven product design, crowdsourcing, and design competitions. But it was still neat to see BusinessWeek recognize the applicability of open source principles beyond software.

In case you missed it when it first came out, I thought I'd provide a set of links to the articles appearing in the special section, including one by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst.

Thinking About Open Design

Things to think about when embracing open design principles.

Cool Things You Can Design Yourself

A slideshow with examples of products consumers can design for themselves.

Co-creation: Not Just Another Focus Group

How Unilever launched a new product using crowdsourcing.

Why Toyota Should Go Open Source

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst calling for more openness in automobile design.

Mozilla Labs Explores Open Source Design

Design competitions at Mozilla.

Open Innovation's Challenge: Letting Go Is Hard to Do

Exposes two big issues that stop companies from being successful with open innovation initiatives: how to collaborate and give up control.

What did you think of the articles? If you have any thoughts or comments, please add them below.

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Chris Grams is the Head of Marketing at Tidelift and author of The Ad-Free Brand: Secrets to Building Successful Brands in a Digital World. Twitter LinkedIn Email: chris(at)


Sigh, open source is not new. <a href="">John Chapman</a>, in the early 1800s, gave away apple trees for whatever his customers would donate. Open source is as American as apple pie.

That sounds more like Craiglist or Freecycle than Open Source.

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