Tiemann on transforming IT the open source way

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“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Michael Tiemann used this quote from Albert Einstein to lead off his talk at last week's Open Your World forum. His presentation was called “Transformation and the Open Source Way”

Tiemann is the VP of Open Source Affairs at Red Hat and the President of the Open Source Affairs Initiative. He's one of the true early pioneers of open source. Since 2006 Tiemann has also been actively charting the waste of the IT world and the $1T lost to “bad software”--taking a close look at why so many IT projects fail or are simply abandoned. And what to do about it.

In his talk, Tiemman applies the lessons of Darwin to Deming toward transforming the model of IT using the open source way. Adaptability leads to reuse, which leads to sustainability.

Tiemann also spoke about value of innovating out in the open. “The more that we can bring skills and knowledge to the people in the system, the more we can innovate.”

How can we bring transformative change to they way software is developed? How can we apply the principles of the open source model to improve our ability to build better quality software and deliver greater value in the long term?

Listen to the archived presentation

Download the slides


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I am President + Partner at New Kind, a branding agency that specializes in helping open source and SaaS technology companies grow. Formerly Sr. Manager, Brand Communications + Design at Red Hat, and prior to that, held communications roles at IBM and Gateway. Find Jonathan on LinkedIn.


Very informative and very well spoken.

I like when Tiemann talks about adaptability (audio 9:30) - survival of the fittest translates to survival of the most adaptable. The size and strength of the dinosaurs is not in and of itself--it's not a sustainable strategy. It's adaptability that's the long-term sustainable advantage--which can also be implied as the size and strength companies.

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