I find it useful to see open source as an expression of three deep, long-term trends:
- The commoditization of software (See also CommoditizeYourComplements)
- Network-enabled collaboration : (See also NewLiteracyOfCooperation, TheAgeOfAmateurs, NetworksCreateValue)
- Software customizability (software as a service)
Interesting quotes :
The early Usenet was as much a "Napster" for shared software as it was a place for conversation.
Now, in an ironic circle, applications once more have people hidden inside them. Take a copy of Microsoft Word and a compatible computer, and it will still run ten years from now. But without the constant crawls to keep the search engine fresh, the constant product updates at an Amazon or eBay, the administrators who keep it all running, the editors and designers who integrate vendor- and user-supplied content into the interface, and in the case of some sites, even the warehouse staff who deliver the products, the Internet-era application no longer performs its function.
This is truly not the software business as it was even a decade ago. Of course, there have always been enterprise software businesses with this characteristic. (American Airlines' Sabre reservations system is an obvious example.) But only now have they become the dominant paradigm for new computer-related businesses.