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Of Open Source and Open Innovation

Jun 16, 2011, 16:11 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Glyn Mody)

"What's interesting here is that Linus is actively soliciting suggestions for his fledgling Linux - there's no sense of him simply seeking other coders to implement his ideas, as was the case with Stallman.

"Over the next few months people from around the world started to offer more and more suggestions, and also to become actively involved. That was possible because Linus had posted the code online (although not initially under the GNU GPL - that came later) and because the Internet by then had become cheap enough and sufficiently widely available that geography became less of an obstacle to taking part (Linus' location in Finland probably played a big part here: since local hacking communities were tiny, he was forced to reach out globally.)

"As more coders joined in, the open development process evolved. But the key elements remained the same: participation completely open to all (coders and users); bottom-up rather than top-down (although Linus always has the final decision about which of those bottom-up suggestions should be adopted); and based on online rather than personal collaboration. Putting those together created not just what came to be called “open innovationâ€, but a process that could scale. "

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