Business

Free vs. paid business models: Why and how to build an open source business

Join us on May 19 for the latest in our Open Your World webcast series, an interview with two business veterans, Toni Schneider and Nicolas Pujol on "Why and How to Build an Open Source Business." This seminar for executives, managers, and scholars interested in further exploring open source business will take viewers from philosophical concepts to a hands-on discussion by practitioners for practitioners on designing and running a winning business. » Read more

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Open for business: How some sales processes don't work for OSS

In a perfect world, the sales process for an open source business would be as simple as answering the phone and taking orders. Unfortunately, reality is seldom perfect, and the open source sales process faces a number of challenges.  » Read more

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I'm bored: The significance manifesto

A humble confession: I'm bored. As mind-implodingly, soul-suckingly, spirit-munchingly bored of business as Jason Voorhees probably is of Friday the 13th.

Let me explain why, via a tiny theory. Porter's five forces, the 5 "C"s of marketing? Forget it. I'd suggest that today, nothing characterizes industrial age business like the Five P's. Business is Pedestrian (in its vanishing smallness of ambition), Predictable (in its furious obsession with the trivial), Predatory (in it's hyperaggressive selfishness), Pompous (in its unvarnished self-importance), and Pointless (in its lack of usefulness to people and society). What it really excels at is pumping out inauthentic, unsustainable, illusory value--instead of the real thing. » Read more

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Do's and don'ts for your work's social platforms

Emergent social software platforms — the enabling technologies of the 2.0 Era — are being deployed by enterprises at a rapid rate. Companies as varied as Microsoft, Spigit, Salesforce, Jive, Socialtext, and IBM now all offer enterprise social offerings for customers.

This brings up an important question: what are Enterprise 2.0 best practices for individuals? Should an employee use her company's social networking software just like she uses her Facebook account? Should she microblog the same way she uses Twitter?

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Designing open collaboration in Red Hat Global Support Services

Red Hat's Global Support Services (GSS) organization is accountable for customer loyalty. In that capacity, we're in the business of solving complex technical problems experienced by our customers. In February of 2009, the GSS management team began a journey to determine if we could serve our customers better, and ultimately increase customer loyalty, by improving the ability of our highly trained technical support associates to collaborate with each other. The fundamental idea was that if we could take away certain structural, cultural, and procedural barriers that separated different groups of associates, we could increase the flow of knowledge, reduce the duplication of efforts, and ultimately provide customers with more accurate, more consistent, and faster results. » Read more

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Three forces disrupting management

Most of the industrial pioneers who created “modern” management—individuals like Frederick Taylor, Frank Gilbreth, Henry Ford, Alfred Sloan, and Donaldson Brown—were born in the 19th century. These bold thinkers would no doubt be surprised to learn that their inventions, which included workflow optimization, variance analysis, capital budgeting, functional specialization, divisionalization, and project management, are still the cornerstones of large-scale management systems.

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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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Thinking open source: How startups destroy a culture of fear

Software engineers of corporate America are wired in a way that promotes fear. It hurts creativity and growth. And open source is finally changing that.

Let’s try the following exercise: Write down three things that come to mind when you see the following email subject from your company’s CEO in response to your new open source project announcement. » Read more

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From where should we lead?

As the “Fasten Seatbelts” sign goes off in the global economy and CEOs step out of their crisis-control command centers, they must now decide: Should we go back to leading from atop the organizational pyramid—or should we stay in the eye of the storm? » 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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