Open source, like the blogosphere, is a grassroots (bottom up) movement. Try not to let the grassroots lull you into believing that it is about one or two people with an idea or cause. Today's grassroots ideas on the net become viral in days, scaling in volunteers (Seth, will you help us) to what would make any organization or marketeer cry for mercy or celebrate in the streets. But, that's not happening in most business organizations. Too bad.
I read a post this morning from Jeff Jarvis on main stream media (MSM) that fits into the bigger trend I am seeing taking shape on the net and fanning out to touch almost every part of our lives.
I was almost in tears after reading Paul Graham's essay on open source software communities and blogging and what business can learn from them. I've been active with oss projects for the last several years. Paul captures the essence of the movement better than anyone and offers several great ideas on applying them to business.
What we've learned from the open-source movement is that people (employees, customers, suppliers, etc) want to contribute to endeavors of mutual benefit. Business development managers need to get their heads around these ideas and new technologies sooner than later.
"Complexity theory is new and largely untested in this area but there are some fascinating and powerful techniques (open space, tipping points, narrative and storytelling, probe/sense/respond, conversations, appreciative inquiry, empowered autopoiesis, collaboration, mindmapping and concept mapping, passion bounded by responsibility, the gift/generosity/support economy, pattern recognition, improv, the wisdom of crowds and the four practices, that seem well-suited to support a complex adaptive system '
"Computer Economics recently conducted a survey of visitors to its website regarding the perceived advantages in the use of open source software. Although not a scientific sample, the results are nevertheless startling."