Open Source in the Boardroom

That’s open source, the general ethos, not Open Source, the public radio show. Because it’s not just about techies in their pajamas anymore, creating Linux for the glory of it. It’s also about gold-mine prospecting, and international coding competitions, and even soda marketing. It’s one of the ways — one of the few ways — that smart companies can get ahead of the rest of the pack, says business writer William Taylor in his new manifesto Mavericks at Work.

Taylor argues that compaies of all kinds are very quickly waking to the notion that their consumers are smarter than they are… and are finally treating them as such. But this isn’t the touchy-feely, Open Source version of open source cooperation, knowledge sharing, and democratized participation — at least not as an end in itself. This is about cut-throat capitalism and the bottom line. This is about harnessing the wisdom and expertise of “pro-ams” — “amateurs who work to professional standards” — to beat the crap out of the competition, and to get rich in the process. Needless to say, we’re eager to learn.

William Taylor

Author, Mavericks at WorkFounding Editor, Fast Company

Jack Hughes

Founder and Chairman, TopCoder

Rob McEwen

CEO and Chairman, U.S. Gold

Peter van Stolk

Founder and CEO, Jones Soda

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