Business

Poaching prevention: It’s not a problem. It’s a symptom.

Recently, I was watching a nature program on bowerbirds. When it’s mating season, these industrious little creatures build elaborate nests (bowers) to draw in female bowerbirds. They decorate with colorful bits of trash (some are particularly partial to blue items) and steal bottlecaps and feathers from their competitors’ bowers. They even use optical illusions within their bower designs to make themselves appear larger to their would-be mates. When at last a male draws a female bowerbird into his bower, he struts and dances and sings just long enough to convince her to mate. She heads up into the trees to build a nest for her eggs, and he’s back in his bachelor pad looking for his next mate. » Read more

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Free vs Paid Business Models webcast: More audience questions answered

During our Free vs. Paid Business Models webcast, we had a lot of questions from the audience—more than our guests had time to answer. Nicolas Pujol generously took a few more minutes of his time to answer these followups. » Read more

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Why Don't IT Departments Give Employees More Freedom?

Do you feel hamstrung by your company’s IT policies? Are the IT tools you have at home more up-to-date than ones you’re forced to use at work? Do you wish you had more control over your IT environment at work? If so, you’re not alone.

A while back in the Wall Street Journal, Nick Wingfield dared to question the totalitarian policies of the average corporate IT department–and boy-oh-boy does he make some good points. » Read more

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Drive and motivation: Daniel Pink webcast recap

Daniel Pink, known for his insightful take on what truly inspires and encourages us all, joined opensource.com for a webcast June 22 on the subject of his latest book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. » Read more

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Open For Business: Pay day

I want to conclude this series of columns, in which I’ve written about marketing, pricing, and sales, with a discussion of what might be the most difficult aspect of running an open source business: getting paid. » Read more

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The Hidden Costs of Overbearing Bosses

At one time or another, most of us have probably worked for a boss who was self-absorbed, vindictive, or just plain inept — a real-life equivalent to Dunder Mifflin’s Michael Scott. One of my first jobs was for an HR manager who thought the best way to humble a cocky new MBA was to have him spend hours sorting files into alphabetical order. Needless to say, he didn’t get the best out of me or anyone else that worked for him. » Read more

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Are the "Best Companies to Work For" really the best companies to work for?

The other day I noticed that the application deadline to be considered for the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list is this week. My company is too small to be considered for this honor (you must have at least 1000 employees), but I always pay close attention when the rankings come out, and I'm sure many of you do as well. » Read more

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Three tired marketing words you should stop using

Over the years, I've had many people label me as a marketing guy just because I help build brands. I don't like being labelled, but I particularly don't like that marketing label. Why?

In my view, traditional marketing sets up an adversarial relationship, a battle of wills pitting seller vs. buyer.

The seller begins the relationship with a goal to convince the buyer to buy something. The buyer begins the relationship wary of believing what the seller is saying (often with good reason). It is an unhealthy connection that is doomed to fail most of the time. » Read more

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OpenOffice + Apache = Open Content Innovation

True confessions: I’ve been using OpenOffice since 2002 (since I started working at Red Hat, where it was mandated) and… I don’t like it (*gasp* – did he just say that?).  Yep, it’s true.  OpenOffice is just not that great of a user experience.  Microsoft Office, with all it’s bloat, is better.  Apple iWork is even better – that is -  from the perspective of an end user.  But you know what?  It doesn’t matter what I think. That’s because the real value of OpenOffice is not the end-user experience – it’s the fact that OpenOffice is a powerful, open content creation platform. » Read more

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Communities, El Camino, and the new GM

I learned yesterday that there's the “old GM” and the “new GM” according to Liz Boone, Global Director, Digital and Social Engagements at General Motors. Like many companies affected by the downturn and forced to make some difficult decisions, GM is still rebuilding. After declaring bankruptcy in 2009, it is no surprise that any and all spend is under the utmost scrutiny. » Read more

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